Baker McKenzie reports flat revenue of $3.3bn as profits hold steady

Net income hovers at $1.2bn for second year running following 2021’s record 37% rise

Baker McKenzie has reported flat revenue and profits in its latest financial results. 

Turnover in the year to 30 June stood at $3.3bn, on a par with the previous year when it grew by 5.5%. 

Meantime the Chicago-based firm had net income of $1.2bn, in line with last year when it had held steady following 2021’s record 36.7% increase. It did not disclose profit per equity partner. 

The firm described the results as “strong” and noted they had been achieved despite the financial impact of spinning off its former Russian operation, reduced deal flows across markets and adverse currency and inflationary pressures. 

Baker McKenzie said it was buoyed by growth in sectors including manufacturing, healthcare and energy and infrastructure, which it said was driven by the ongoing global energy transition.

On the practice front, the firm saw revenue growth in key areas including employment and compensation (6%), projects (4%) and M&A (4%) alongside a notable 19% rise in antitrust and competition. 

Over the course of the year the firm’s transactions team worked on a number of major deals, including acting for Swiss chemicals group Sika on its €5.3bn acquisition of German rival MBCC from private equity firm Lone Star. The firm also advised San Francisco-based Wilbur Ellis on the merger of its subsidiary Connell with Dutch firm Caldic to create a €3bn life sciences company. 

In terms of regions, Baker McKenzie said it saw “substantive growth” across the Americas, with North and Latin America each seeing a currency neutral revenue increase of 3.8%. It added that many of its larger markets elsewhere including the UK, Spain, Switzerland, Singapore and Thailand also performed well.

Global chair, Milton Cheng, commented: “The world’s leading companies are today entrusting us with major transformations as they reshape their businesses, and turn to our firm to make sense of an increasingly complex regulatory environment. 

“We value the trust that our clients place in us, based on the years of experience working together on complex matters and business solutions.”

The firm promoted 89 to partner during FY23 in international and North America rounds that, like previous years, focused on M&A, tax and dispute resolution and also brought the firm closer to its target to have women make up at least 40% of its partnership. 

Over the course of the year Baker McKenzie also added more than 40 partners through lateral hires, including construction and energy duo Emanuel Confos and Harriet Oldmeadow from Norton Rose Fulbright in Sydney in June. The firm also hired Addleshaw Goddard’s Hong Kong dispute resolution head, Ronald Sum, in September 2022. 

The firm’s unusual year-end of 30 June sets it apart from its rivals and could make it a bellwether of how large US firms have fared this year in the face of geopolitical tensions, rising costs and the downturn in global dealmaking. Large UK law firms with financial years ending 30 April that reported their results over the summer generally saw revenue growth but flat profits. 

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