Addleshaw Goddard and Bird & Bird post double-digit revenue growth

Profit at AG rises 18% in FY23 to £184m as Bird & Bird’s grows 8.4%

Addleshaw Goddard (AG) and Bird & Bird have both reported double digit revenue growth for the 2023 financial year against an eye-catching 18% increase in profits at AG and 8.4% at Bird & Bird.

AG grew turnover 18% to £443m in the year ended 30 April 2023 against an equal rise in total profits to £184m. The firm declined to disclose profits per equity partner (PEP), which edged up 2% in FY22 to £866k, saying it no longer used it to measure performance. 

Meantime, Bird & Bird’s revenue grew by 10.8% to £495m against an 8.4% rise in net profit to £108.4m. PEP inched up 2.4% to £669k. 

AG said its UK income grew by 14%, while the fastest-growing region was the Middle East, which saw turnover rise by 43%. Overall non-UK income has grown by more than 300% since 2017/18. 

In terms of practice area, AG said all of its core sectors – energy and utilities, financial services, healthcare, retail and consumer, real estate and transport – delivered strong growth, with financial services, its largest sector, touching on 30% of the firm’s income. The firm closed the year with £146m in cash, up £10m on the previous year. 

AG grew its global headcount by 10% over the course of the year to more than 2,350. Meantime, the firm grew its partner headcount to 356 through a combination of 20 internal promotions and 32 lateral hires, among them M&A partners from Bracewell and Latham & Watkins, who joined the firm’s new office in Riyadh

Looking to ESG, the firm said it was on track to achieve its net zero target by 2024 and that it had launched a graduate and apprenticeship programme across its business services lines. The firm also launched a new volunteering hub offering 75 projects, with 300 people volunteering.

Standout work for the firm over the course of the year included advising Asda on its £2.3bn buyout of EG Group’s UK and Ireland businesses and DP World on its US$2.4bn investment in three UAE assets. Meantime the firm’s disputes team scored a significant success before the Court of Appeal, which increased the judgment against IBM in favour of Soteria Insurance to £80.5m in a high profile tech dispute. 

Managing partner John Joyce commented: “We continue to broaden our capabilities to support clients wherever they might need us, and the scale of our investments I believe demonstrates our ambition to continue increasing the value we can offer to our clients whilst creating new opportunities for everyone who works in AG. 

“In the last two years we have added materially to our partner group with nearly 100 appointments. We are more global than ever too, now with seven offices in Europe and with Riyadh, our fourth office in the Middle East – expected to open shortly.”

Looking to Bird & Bird, it promoted a record 29 lawyers to partners and added a further 19 through lateral hires over the course of the year, including Anna Morgan and Deirdre Kilroy, who joined from the Data Protection Commission Ireland and Matheson respectively to launch the firm’s Dublin office in June 2022. 

Highlights included working with the European Commission on the launch of the first European Blockchain Sandbox and co-ordinating the trademark and breach of contract litigation in a number of jurisdictions for Merck KGaA in its continued dispute with Merck Sharpe & Dohme. The firm also secured a notable victory for Lidl over Tesco at the England and Wales High Court in the battle over their competing yellow logos on a blue background. 

In terms of ESG, Bird & Bird formed a global client-facing ESG group to develop a united client offering across its practice and sectors focusing on three pillars: regulatory compliance, becoming a good corporate citizen and creating innovative sources of business value. 

It also said that in response to the surge of interest among clients in generative AI its digital rights and assets group had developed new products for clients to support their internal policies and guidelines, in addition to its existing client solutions and AI-based products. 

Bird & Bird’s CEO Christian Bartsch said: “We’ve had another positive year of financial growth led by our focus on technology and the fantastic work of our people, despite the challenging economic landscape. 

“We thank our clients for their continued strong support. We will continue to build on the momentum we have as a firm and capitalise on the new opportunities that exist across our international jurisdictions.”

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