Law firm unveils strong annual figures and record cash levels

Harold Brako
X The Business Desk

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Law firm Addleshaw Goddard has reported better annual revenues and profits in what it described as “a difficult year”, as well as record cash levels.

The group, which has a strong Manchester presence, saw global revenues rise from £288m last year to £321m, while the total distributable profit of £136m rose from £102m, continuing an eight-year upward trajectory.

Profits per equity partner (PEP) was £849,000, up from £690,000 in 2020.

Following further planned investments in new offices, infrastructure and people, the closing cash position of £108m, ahead of the previous year’s headline of £83m, is a record for the firm, underpinning its balance sheet strength.

Total bonus provision this year will be three times larger than the prior year, which, itself, had been a record, to reflect the positive outcome for the year.

The figures reveal an eighth year of successive income growth, delivered notwithstanding the challenges of the year, delivered across all jurisdictions.

This was drive by UK transactional activity returning very strongly in the second half with continuously high levels of activity across all contentious teams. The Middle East delivered another year of substantial double digit growth, while Asia recovered from the challenging trading conditions seen in 2019/20.

Addleshaw Goddard’s expanding Germany business and launch in France drove growth in continental Europe.

The litigation practice has grown by approximately 20% year-on-year since 2017, the finance and projects practice closed 11% up on the prior year, and there was eight per cent and seven per cent growth, respectively, for corporate and commercial and real estate, while the innovation and legal technology team supports an ever growing number of assignments.

During the year the firm created 36 new partners – 23 laterally hired and 13 internally promoted – across key practice areas including capital markets, civil fraud, corporate governance, infrastructure, projects and energy and international arbitration.

Approximately 80% of the firm’s income is generated through its six core sectors: Energy and utilities, financial services, healthcare, retail and consumer, real estate and transport.

Managing partner, John Joyce, said: “We are incredibly proud of the people we have at AG. Their combined team effort and our great clients have seen us deliver strong growth, higher profitability and further balance sheet strength in challenging times.

“In the last year we have kept many investments on track and our teams have overcome tremendous disruption to support our efforts, including the successful opening of our France office a year after launching in Germany and I can’t thank them enough.

“We will continue to try to be as flexible and supportive as we can be in order to help people succeed and are investing heavily in bonuses this year as well as in recognition of people’s efforts.”

He added: “Looking ahead our intention is to build on the growth we have seen and the investments we have been making in order to continue delivering to clients a global business with ever more imaginative and impactful solutions.”

The Manchester office contributed strongly to the overall results through a variety of deals throughout the year, which included advising Stockport recommerce group musicMagpie plc on its £208m IPO on AIM, advising Bury-based JD Sports on its acquisition of Go Outdoors and its £464m equity fundraising, among a number of other strategic acquisitions, and advising three bereaved families in the Manchester Arena Public Inquiry.

The office also advised Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on the provision of a loan facility of £34m to Liverpool John Lennon Airport to provide stability for the airport during the COVID-19 recovery period, and advised Manchester property giant Bruntwood on a new £276m sustainable-linked loan facility with Aviva Investors.

Harold Brako, head of Addleshaw Goddard’s Manchester office, said: “Our teams continue to come together really well, despite being physically apart for so much of the last 18 months and I’m continually impressed by their resilience and their support to our clients.

“Over the last year it’s been great to see the enthusiasm from clients to the wide range of resources and expertise we can bring to their local and international requirements and we remain grateful to them all for trusting us with their projects.”