Revenues rise at Norton Rose as banking and litigation shine

Elizabeth Fournier
REVENUES at international law firm Norton Rose have risen seven per cent over the first half of the year, it said yesterday, boosted by strong performances in its litigation and banking arms.

“Contributing factors vary from country to country, but overall litigation has been strong and banking has performed well,” said group chief executive Peter Martyr (pictured).

The results are the latest in a string of positive updates from the City’s law firms, after Allen & Overy said its half year turnover had risen by 11 per cent on a like-for-like basis and Eversheds posted a seven per cent increase.

But Martyr joined his peers in warning of a gloomier outlook for the second half of the financial year.

“We are pleased at the growth but, like many other firms, we anticipate the second half of the year could be more uncertain for the industry”, he said.

Last year the firm put a nine per cent rise in revenue at the half way point down to growth in Asia and the Middle East, but this year focus has shifted to the group’s expansion towards the south and west.

The latest figures are the first to include recent international mergers in Africa and North America, after Norton Rose merged with Canada’s Ogilvy Renault and South Africa’s Deneys Reitz in June 2011. It has since announced another Canadian tie-up, with Calgary-based Macleod Dixon, expected to join the group from January next year.

Earlier this month, Norton Rose announced plans to create an internal focus group to target business in Nordic regions, having identified a trend of outbound investment from Nordic countries into economies such as Canada, Africa and Australia, where the group has been expanding.