06 August 2018

Baker McKenzie boosts industry with record $2.9 billion revenues

Belfast office part of the business boost

The future of the law business looks bright, as Baker McKenzie announces record revenues and a major programme for clients.

While some industry observers worry about the future of law firms and new competitive entrants, Baker McKenzie has stepped up to the plate with record global revenues of $2.9 billion, reflecting revenues up by 10 per cent, growth in all regions and profit-per-partner up 13 percent. The firm also announced a major programme to drive global digitization and optimise client service delivery.

Big mandates

The firm says the rise in profits per partner was driven by large client mandates, including high-value cross-border transactional and premium work which continues to be attractive to repeat clients. Investments in project management, centers of excellence in lower-cost locations, and more effective partnering with clients, supported by long-term investments in industry, practice and client programs have enabled profitable growth. In a statement, Baker McKenzie highlighted its geographical diversity, with revenues spread by region split across Asia Pacific (26 percent), EMEA (39 percent) and Americas (35 percent). Baker McKenzie Chair Paul Rawlinson says, ‘you can't be global and successful without having an authentic core purpose to serve our clients. This means making continued investments in industry, practice and client programs and our people.’ Included in the firm’s deals and cases during the year were lead counsel on Knauf's $7 billion proposed takeover of USG Corporation, Servier’s acquisition of Shire's Oncology business for $2.4 billion, and representing a consortium of forty Swiss banks in relation to the US department of justice's unprecedented clampdown on offshore bank accounts.

Digital innovation

Mr Paul explained, ‘we are currently also embarking on a major programme aimed to make our professional and business services teams even more effective, mainly focused on transforming our use of technology to disrupt and challenge industry norms.’ He claims, the firm ‘is the only law firm that offers a truly global integrated digital innovation platform to clients and this is already beginning to make a direct impact on our financial performance. We estimate that our use of alternative legal services in Belfast, our e-discovery platforms and our use of legal project management are already bringing significant efficiencies and savings to our clients and more than $50 million in annual revenue to support our core legal services on high-value mandates. Bringing global teams of people together with strong leaders and using globally deployed technology are winning us new business.’