Asia Pacific growth helps give Clifford Chance bigger profits

Elizabeth Fournier
CLIFFORD CHANCE, the UK’s biggest law firm by revenues, yesterday raised the bar for its magic circle competitors as it announced a seven per cent rise in turnover.

Revenues at the firm were £1,303m in the year to 30 April, up from £1,219m in the previous 12 months. Profits per equity partner also grew by seven per cent, rising to £1.1m having hit the million mark in 2011.

Though Clifford Chance registered growth across all its regions, the firm’s offices in Asia Pacific delivered the strongest performance, raking in £185m in revenues – a 28 per cent rise.

The region now accounts for 14 per cent of global revenues, with the firm deriving more than two-thirds of its overall revenue from outside of its London headquarters.

Managing partner David Childs described Clifford Chance’s UK performance as “good in a difficult market”, as home-grown revenue edged up by three per cent to £443m.

And continental Europe, which makes up 38 per cent of group revenue, grew by five per cent despite Eurozone worries, with Childs citing strong performances across offices in Brussels, Germany, Luxembourg, Paris, Spain and Moscow for the rise.

But he struck a bearish note in his outlook for the year ahead, saying that ongoing macro-economic turmoil meant market conditions would be “tough, or at best uncertain”.