“Reloaded but not on time”: Dechert defends revenue and profit losses as Mayer Brown achieves sales of more than USD 1.5 billion
As the financial reporting season for Global 100 companies gains momentum, there are some less noticeable financial results. Dechert saw a 6% reversal in sales and earnings, and Mayer Brown increased sales only marginally to over $ 1.5 billion.
Mayer Brown grew global revenue nearly 2% to $ 1.52 billion from just under $ 1.5 billion a year ago when the firm saw revenue growth of 7%, while revenue per lawyer rose slightly by 1% in 2020 decreased to $ 900,000. Profit per Equity Partner (PEP) numbers were more encouraging, up 11% from $ 1.8 million in 2019 to $ 2 million on the back of a 2% increase in partners to 657 from 646 a year ago. The total number of lawyers rose 3% from 1,632 in 2019 to 1,685.
Chairman Paul Theiss was optimistic despite the slower pace of growth and stated: “For Mayer Brown, 2020 was primarily about looking after our customers as trustworthy advisors and business partners and looking after each other and our families during a difficult year. With this in mind, 2020 was our eighth year in a row from a financial point of view with sales growth of 75% in this period. ‘
Mayer Brown does not reveal his city achievement. However, London Managing Director Sally Davies noted that the office held up well and made “a significant contribution to the company’s global results.”
Speaking to Legal Business recently, Davies was optimistic about the office’s strategy and side additions in a challenging year. ‘We’re pretty clear about the strategy, it hasn’t changed as a result of the pandemic. We focus on finance, private equity, complex high-stakes disputes, employees and investigations. The addition of Trevor Borthwick from Allen & Overy has added Gravitas to our banking and finance team. ‘
She also pointed to the hiring of transactional real estate partner Simon Price from Linklaters and restructuring partner Barry Cosgrave from K&L Gates, all of whom she says have all taken the first step.
Davies was characteristically optimistic and insisted that the coronavirus crisis has its benefits. “My personal goal is not to lose the positive results we have gained and not to go back to where we were before. In terms of the ESG, we didn’t really have to travel that much. The compensation process was more efficient by being carried out remotely. I hope this will change the way we do business development so that we can focus more on what customers want rather than what we think they want. ‘
Dechert had a tougher year, seeing sales declined 6% in 2020 to $ 1.07 billion from $ 1.14 billion as the PEP fell to $ 2.8 million from $ 3 million in 2019 The number of investment partners remained unchanged at 154 and the total number of lawyers at 960, compared to 974 in 2019.
Henry Nassau, CEO of Dechert, nevertheless defended the company’s position: ‘We have seen 10 years of steady growth at an average annual rate of 5%. 2019 was characterized by sales growth of 11%. 2020 was the third year of sales of more than $ 1 billion. The second half of 2020 was spectacular and continued through early 2021. Year-to-date sales rose 12% and bills rose 16%. The resistance in 2020 was caused for several reasons in the first half of the year. Over 20 cases have been postponed due to court closings and two major legal disputes have ended at the same time. We reloaded but not in time for the snapshot when these numbers were taken. ‘
The company has secured a number of significant mandates worldwide, including advising Cerberus on its private equity strategy in the US, Europe and Asia, including the sale of Covis to Apollo. In addition, KKR is one of the most important customers in the areas of real estate financing, asset-backed and fund financing, private equity, permanent capital, taxes and litigation.
Dechert has recently made concerted efforts to strengthen its financial restructuring group. Heavyweight partner Adam Plainer von Weil, Gotshal & Manges joined the group as global co-chair on March 1st. The company also added restructuring partners Solomon Noh and Alastair Goldrein from London Shearman & Sterling in 2020.