The Firm’s income broke the €300m mark for the first time
International legal practice Osborne Clarke achieved an income of €304m, an 11 per cent increase on revenues in the previous year (which were €273m).
Non-UK revenue accounted for 44 per cent of total revenue with many continental European and Asian offices enjoying strong growth. In addition, the Firm’s Indian relationship Firm, BTG Legal, opened an office in Delhi and, following completion of its regulatory ‘period of association’, Koh Vass & Co in Hong Kong officially became known as Osborne Clarke.
Simon Beswick, International CEO Osborne Clarke, commented: “It’s great that our growth has taken us past the €300m mark. We’ve achieved this by supporting our clients to transform their business onto digital platforms as well as dealing with ever increasing regulation and through strong transactional, advisory and litigation work flows.”
In the UK, Osborne Clarke’s revenue surpassed £150m for the first time, up from £139.3m in 2017/18 to £150.1m in 2018/19. The Firm continued to maintain its financial stability with cash resources for 2018/19 at £23.5m, up £1.5m on 2017/18.
In addition to revenue growth, UK net profit also increased by 2.9 per cent, from £61.2m, to £63m in 2018/19. Profit per equity partner (PEP) was broadly consistent with last year at £703k, compared to £711k.
Osborne Clarke made a number of planned investments including new technology platforms, refurbishing its flagship London office and maintaining a profit share payment for all its UK people.
“Our people are key to our business and we couldn’t achieve these results without their hard work. We recognise that taking care of our people means we can provide better services for our clients,” commented Ray Berg, UK Managing Partner Osborne Clarke.
“It’s been an exciting year for us, we’ve enhanced the range of services and technologies we offer clients and improved working environments and development opportunities for our people. We continue to have strong results which means we can make greater investments into the business to support our ongoing success,” said Ray.
Recruitment and development to support the Firm’s sector-first approach and strengthen its capabilities continues to be a priority. Osborne Clarke expanded its UK disputes team and launched new services in tax litigation, with new Partner hire Ian Hyde who brings broad sector experience, and patent litigation Will James, a specialist in the life sciences sector. It also expanded the insolvency team with the return of Partner, Will Gunston, which means it can now offer more services and take on bigger mandates.
Recent international lateral highlights include appointing a new head of tax in the Netherlands Job van der Pol, Steven Verschuur an EU and competition Partner in Belgium and Giorgio Lezzi who joins as Head of Infrastructure services in Italy.
Investment in technology continues to be a key priority for the business not only to generate efficiencies, but also, to deepen relationships with clients. The Osborne Clarke Solutions team continues to develop bespoke cloud-based online solutions for instructing, managing and executing legal matters and more. Across its sectors more clients than ever, including multinational businesses across social media, telecoms, software, banking, retail, and financial services are working with the team to manage, amongst other things: contracts, assets, matters and deals.
Earlier this summer the Firm launched Osborne Clarke Ventures, a start-up incubator to help early stage tech and/or tech enabled businesses to prepare for and execute their Series A round. The programme is supporting a number of handpicked clients who will be paired with a ‘Virtual GC’ from the Osborne Clarke team, who will act as a day-to-day point of contact for support requests.
In May, the Firm recently completed the refurbishment of its One London Wall head office. Following consultation with its people, the office was redesigned to facilitate greater flexibility, connectivity and collaboration between its people and clients.
Diversity and inclusion is a central pillar of Osborne Clarke’s business strategy. Through its diversity in recruitment, development and progression strategies, the Firm reduced the gender pay gap in its Legal Practice Groups, among Partners the pay gap dropped by 13% in one year and made eight Partner promotions in the UK, of which 63% were female.
Last year, Osborne Clarke launched solicitor apprenticeships to support alternative routes to qualification, encourage inclusion and increase social mobility. This year it made offers to four candidates and will have six solicitor apprentices in total from September.
“We are pleased to expand our solicitor apprenticeship programme; it offers us the chance to work with a younger and broader cohort of people considering careers in law,” Ray said.