Hogan Lovells posts record financial results as global revenue jumps by 13% to hit $2.6bn

Profit per equity partner at transatlantic firm rose 26% to reach $2.49m for FY 2021

Miguel Zaldivar Image courtesy of Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells has posted its strongest ever results for the 2021 financial year, growing its global revenue by 12.9% to $2.6bn and profit per equity partner (PEP) by 25.9% to hit $2.49m.

The rate of revenue growth marks a sharp increase on the previous year’s rise of 2.8% and underscores the extent to which business law firms have shrugged off the impact of Covid-19 – and not just in the lucrative US market, given Hogan Lovells’ position as a transatlantic firm that generates the majority of its revenue (53%) outside the Americas.

Revenue per lawyer also jumped 16.5% to $1.03m, with Hogan Lovells CEO Miguel Zaldivar describing the firm’s transactions practice as a “key driver” of the firm’s performance.

“We represented clients in some of the biggest M&A deals of 2021, particularly in tech M&A, including Oracle on its acquisition of Cerner Corporation,” said Zaldivar, adding that the firm’s focus on highly regulated sectors “was brought to bear in many of these transactions”.

The firm said it also saw an increase in litigation work, particularly in the areas of complex multi-jurisdictional disputes work and tech litigation.

Hogan Lovells' results come hard on the heels of a similarly robust performance by US top ten rival White & Case, which also has a significant international footprint, and last week recorded s 20% jump in revenue to $2.87bn against a 17% rise in PEP to $3.514m.

Of Hogan Lovells' three global practice groups, corporate and finance represented around 42% of total billings, global regulatory and intellectual property, media and technology contributed 30%, and labour, arbitration and employment made up the remaining 28%.

Regional breakdown saw the Americas and EMEA each account for around 47% of total billings, and Asia-Pacific just 6%.  

Zaldivar said the firm “executed on our strategy to focus on financial discipline within our business” during 2021, having announced a radical shake up of the firm’s structure and leadership the year before that saw it streamline the cumbersome structure set up when Washington DC’s Hogan & Hartson merged with the UK’s Lovells in 2010.

He added the firm was expanding its offerings in areas of increased client need, including ESG, and investing in innovative services and products, particularly in legaltech.

The firm opened in Dublin last March in the wake of Brexit, with the office focused on practice areas with strong EU law connections such as financial services and regulatory and competition law.

It has also been building its corporate and finance bench strength in Europe, adding a five-strong finance team in Brussels last May from PwC Legal and hiring a six-strong team of M&A lawyers from Watson Farley & Williams in Frankfurt in December.

Yesterday, it signed a deal to move into a new London home, adjacent to its current base at Holborn Viaduct.

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