29 July 2020

Taylor Wessing's global growth continues as revenue climbs for third straight year

Taylor Wessing plans to expand its Liverpool office this year

Firm's profit per equity partner declines but still clocks in at second highest on record

Taylor Wessing saw its global revenue increase for the third year in a row as the firm posted its results for the previous financial year.

Worldwide revenue jumped 7.6% to £356m despite being hit at the start of the year by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The UK practice showed a slight increase in revenue to £157m, though profits dropped by 8% to £58m. Profit per equity partner dropped 6.5% to £612,640 from £655,230, which the firm ascribed to greater investment in technology, a new office in Liverpool, and lateral hires, but noted the returns were the second highest on record.

UK managing partner, Shane Gleghorn, said that while “the final quarter was made difficult by the crisis, we have seen the benefit of our investment in tech and people, even more so in recent months.”

The firm was among the first to react to the consequences of the pandemic, with an announcement in March of a comprehensive contingency plan shortly before lockdown was officially imposed, including enabling the firm’s first virtual partner conference. 

The firm’s investment in technology, Gleghorn said, had duly supported agile working for staff, and deepened the firm’s client relationships. He added that work in key sectors such as technology, life sciences and private wealth, all of which are core business areas, were expected to show further growth, as was the wider IP practice and employment law.

The firm promoted eight partners in 2020, while it hired eight partners over the course of that financial year, including former in-house lawyer Paolo Palmigiano, who now leads the UK trade and antitrust practice, while Ross McNaughton joined as a partner in the Cambridge corporate technology team from Pennington Manches.

The firm also made a trophy hire in May with the arrival of Fieldfisher head of life sciences Alison Dennis to co-head the firm’s life sciences group with incumbent Michael Stein. It also refreshed regional leadership in Dubai and Shanghai, and appointed new heads of cyber and data protection. 

Gleghorn, a respected commercial litigator, was elected managing partner in 2018, for a three-year term. As he enters his third year, the firm’s core sector groups are active in sectors particularly impacted by the pandemic, suggesting demand for legal services will remain acute, not least for regulation and risk management, IP and brand protection, and employer-related advice.  

The top-line benefits of regionalising work and better technology, meanwhile, may well feed through into next year’s figures, with the Liverpool office said to be aiming for a staff of 100 by the end of 2020.

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