International legal practice Osborne Clarke recorded revenue of €318m for 2019/20. This is an increase of 5% on 2018/19 and an increase of 63% over five years.
Simon Beswick, International CEO Osborne Clarke, commented: "We enjoyed strong client demand for our services and although the national lockdowns impacted some of our sector clients and redefined their priorities, we continued to work closely with our clients on a range of issues. We hope the support we have given clients facing the challenges of lockdown, will assist them to emerge stronger, and ready to address the drivers of business transformation affecting most organisations today. As we look to the future, we are well placed to support our sector clients as they address challenges and take advantage of opportunities offered by the new working environment."
In the UK, Osborne Clarke’s revenue increased by 3% to £155m, up from £150m in 2018/19. UK net profit fell by 5% to £59.8m as the business continued to make significant investments in both its people and infrastructure. UK profit per equity partner (PEP) was £614k down 12%. This reduction reflected partner investments.
Ray Berg, Managing Partner, Osborne Clarke, commented: "Covid-19 has taken some of the shine off our results but, like any crisis, it's how you manage it that can define you. I was incredibly proud at how agile we proved to be, with special mention to our IT and other support teams for their dedication and innovation.
"Our focus since then has been to protect our people and our business by staying as close as we can to our clients. Our established expertise in digital transformation has been a great example of a value added service. This has helped us win new clients across multiple sectors and generate additional revenue streams from existing clients.
"Q1 in the UK this financial year was not as bad as we had feared but nor as good as we had hoped. But we are optimistic. As we emerge from the pandemic, stronger and more innovative, we will be taking the lead on issues such as decarbonisation and urban dynamics, and helping our clients drive value and opportunity from these global issues."
Client demand for our services was generally strong across most offices until lockdown. Since then client demand has varied from region to region, with our Asian offices most impacted and continental European offices least impacted. As a result, a number of our continental European offices have enjoyed strong double digit growth.
Earlier in 2019, Osborne Clarke invested in state of the art connected technologies in its London and Reading offices to enable agile working for employees and clients. This will be further enhanced when it moves its Bristol office to Halo in 2022. This will be a landmark new office building and one of the UK’s greenest and most innovative workplaces.
Sectors and services
Osborne Clarke has maintained a healthy balance of revenue across its four UK service lines. Disputes and Risk saw 15% growth and Projects, Real Estate and Finance grew 2%. Advisory and Business Transactions were both broadly static.
Stand-out UK sectors included Financial Services which grew 10% and the largest sector, Tech, Media & Comms, growing 6%. Others were broadly flat but against strong performances in 2018/19.
Ray Berg: "Our people have been amazing in all respects: from their commitment to keeping the firm running smoothly, to their agility in switching to remote working overnight. There has been a 'can do' attitude in boosting morale, maintaining social events and introducing innovative (and often more efficient) ways of working, within teams, across borders and with our clients."
Osborne Clarke has maintained its investment in people with eleven senior promotions in Germany, Italy and the UK. Singapore has also expanded recently with two new counsels – litigator Yvette Anthony and corporate specialist Simon Huang.
Osborne Clarke has not reduced the number of UK trainees it will take on in September although much of the induction will take place online before a gradual return to office working. It has also retained its summer vacation scheme so that students will still enjoy a personalised course with high levels of lawyer mentoring online.
Diversity remains an essential strand of its business strategy. The UK has welcomed Bola Gibson, its new head of inclusion and corporate responsibility. It also became a sponsor of the European Network for Women in Leadership with 20 female partners from across its UK and EU offices participating in the programme.