Freshfields profit per partner gains to almost £2m in wake of Magic Circle pandemic boom

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has become the latest major law firm to report a jump in revenue and profit as the City’s legal sector benefits from a boom in deal making.

The Magic Circle firm has revenue of £1.59bn for the year ended 30 April, up 5%, and profit per equity partner of £1.91m, also up 5%.

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Hot on the heels of results for peers Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance — which both revealed record profit per equity partner figures in recent weeks, at £1.9m and £1.85m respectively — the set of City leading law firms look to be in rude health while competition from high-paying US entrants continues to swirl.

Freshfield says it plans to continue its plans to grow in the US in the face of the threat, having launched a Silicon Valley office in July 2020.

Some high-profile deals sat behind Freshfields’ uptick. The firm advised on AstraZeneca $39bn acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals — the world’s largest healthcare deal struck last year — as well as working on the London Stock Exchange’s $27bn deal for data provider Refinitiv.

Freshfields managing partner Rick van Aerssen said results “reflects Freshfields’ continued success in our core markets, as well as our expansion in growth markets such as the US”.

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“The ability of our global platform to deliver for clients as a destination practice across all the key disciplines is a formula that works, shown by revenue growth across all our regions and practice areas against the backdrop of the pandemic,” he added.

The growth shown across the Magic Circle during the pandemic bucks a tighter few years previously for the City’s legal market, as many firms looked to shave costs and expand internationally to beat a path upwards.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Justin Cash

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