Ashurst increased its revenue and profit per equity partner (PEP) by double-digits during the financial year ending April 2022, maintaining the bounceback achieved in the previous financial year.
The firm said on Thursday that its revenue grew by 12% to £798 million — its sixth consecutive year of growth. Meanwhile the firm’s PEP figure is up 13% at £1.2 million, compared to the firm’s 15% leap the previous year.
The momentum follows muted revenue growth of 0.5% and a 7% drop in PEP in the 2019-20 financial year, which the firm attributed to the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Asia. In its 2020-21 results, the firm’s PEP figure crept over £1 milion for the first time since before the 2008 financial crash.
Speaking to Law.com International Ashurst CEO Paul Jenkins said the firm delivered double-digit growth in both Continental Europe and Asia. He said the “U.K. was very much the engine room of growth” for revenue, while growth in the firm’s Singapore base stood at around 20%.
Other firms’ Singapore bases have also performed well during the year, including Simmons & Simmons. Allen & Overy recently affirmed its commitment to its office there, as several international law firms pivot their attention to the country.
Jenkins puts Ashurst’s success in Singapore down to funds seizing opportunities in Southeast Asia, with investment in e-commerce, logistics and technology companies a prominent feature of the market not only in Singapore, but also in Indonesia and Vietnam.
“This is leading to significant workflows for those firms with a focus in those areas — in private capital, financial institutions and the digital economy — which plays to our strengths”, he added.
Ashurst’s U.S. revenue grew by around 15%, according to Jenkins, as the firm continued to reaffirm its ambitions there. It hired Morrison & Foerster partner Lloyd Harmetz in New York in July 2021, while also relocating London partner Jonathan Turner to its Santa Monica office, following stalled growth since its Los Angeles launch in 2020.
The firm also hired Holland & Knight partner Wes Strickland as its first Los Angeles lateral, who is now the head of its newly-launched Texas office.
As the firm prepares to draw up its 2027 strategy, which will be presented to partners at a retreat early next year, Jenkins said the U.S. is “still a missing piece of the puzzle for us”, adding that the firm still sees “an opportunity to continue to grow” in the region.
Resolution on the firm’s U.S. strategy has long been desired by the partnership, with one former partner adding that “pretending to be global without a proper U.S. practice is nonsense”.
Elsewhere, the firm’s NewLaw division, Ashurst Advance, grew its direct revenue by 55%. In 2021, it appointed Melbourne-based partner Hilary Goodier as co-leader of the offering.
In a firm statement, chair Karen Davies added: “We have a well-diversified business and the successes of the past year is a testament to the distinctive culture and fantastic people we have at Ashurst who contribute to and drive the delivery of firm’s strategic ambitions.”
Notable mandates for the firm in the past financial year include its work advising supermarket chain Morrisons on its £6.3 billion takeover by U.S. private equity group Fortress Investment Group and the £850 million take private of the Daily Mail & General Trust group. It also claimed a spot on energy giant BP’s U.K. legal panel.