BLM merger fuels 20% jump in Clyde & Co’s revenue to £788.6m

PEP holds steady at £708k as insurance law giant points to investments and swelling partner ranks
Portrait photograph of Matthew Kelsall

Clyde & Co's CEO Matthew Kelsall

Clyde & Co grew revenue by an eye-catching 20% in the 2023 financial year to £788.6m, marking the 25th consecutive year the UK firm has increased turnover.

Clydes said 6% of that growth was organic and the rest was fuelled by its merger with UK firm BLM, which went live in July last year and added 600 lawyers and almost £100m in revenue. 

Meantime, profit at the firm increased by 6% to £169.2m, while profit per equity partner (PEP) remained at £708k, which Clydes said reflected the significant increase in partners and long-term investments being made into the business.

In the context of stagnant PEP at many top UK firms this year, Clydes can justifiably claim credit for maintaining that metric while bedding down a major merger. However, it does allow top 30 rival HFW, which recorded a 17.5% jump in PEP to £786k, to overtake it against that metric, although at £225.3m, its revenue is dwarfed by Clydes’.

Alongside the 46 partners who joined Clydes through the merger with BLM, the firm also added 38 new partners through lateral hires and in April made up a record 26 lawyers to partner in its first post-merger promotions round. 

Matthew Kelsall, Clydes’ chief executive officer, said the results spoke of “a firm in good health and in growth mode”. 

“Doubling our revenues in the space of 10 years is a testament to the enduring strength of our strategy and the value it provides clients thanks to our clear and long-held sector focus and our strengths across disputes, regulatory and corporate disciplines. Our focus remains on building and maintaining market-leading positions in all our sectors and practices, while continuing to invest in our people,” he added. 

In the last financial year, the UK accounted for 46% of the firm’s revenue and was its fastest growing region, with revenues up 28%. North America accounted for 22% of the total, the Middle East and Africa 12%, Asia Pacific 12%, and Europe and Latin America 5.5% and 2% respectively.

Of the 38 lateral partner hires, 14 were into the firm’s corporate and advisory and regulatory and investigations practices, which Clydes said reflected a concerted push to enhance those practices, which account for more than £100m of revenue annually.

The firm’s expansion efforts over the past year saw it add lawyers from Kennedys, Simmons & Simmons and Baker McKenzie to debut in Thailand, Italy and Egypt. The firm also set up shop in Boston and Calgary and added BLM’s UK offices in Belfast, Birmingham, Derry/Londonderry, Liverpool and Southampton.

A highlight of the past year for Clydes in terms of ESG was the launch of a parental leave offering across its global network that included access to 26 weeks of fully paid leave, regardless of gender or parental role. 

The firm also launched its Cyber One network that is intended to provide a one-stop-shop for clients to help them manage and respond to cyber risk, and relaunched its online casualty innovation platform Clyde & Co Newton, which features a suite of products to help insurers speed up casualty insurance claims handling.

“We have continued to build out our capabilities and have integrated successfully following our merger with BLM,” said Carolena Gordon, Clydes’ senior partner. “I am confident that what we have built, including the talent we have across the firm, puts us in a uniquely strong position to provide clients with the commercial-minded support they need to successfully navigate risk and maximise opportunity in today’s complex and uncertain business environment.”

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