King & Spalding grows revenue 20% to $1.83bn against 25% jump in PEP

Atlanta firm sees PEP hit $4.37m at the tail end of a jam-packed year for big deals

The Atlanta office is McDermott's 13th in the US; the firm was attracted by its tally of Fortune 500 companies Shutterstock

Revenue at King & Spalding has jumped 20% to hit $1.83bn against a 25% rise in profit per equity partner (PEP) for the 2021 financial year, as it becomes the latest US firm to issue robust financial results amid a buoyant deals market.  

The Atlanta-based firm’s PEP rose from $3.5m to $4.37m, while its net income increased by 25% from $713m to $896m in 2021.

In line with other US firms King & Spalding’s London office also posted strong results, with revenue increasing 14% to hit $62m. Reed Smith and Cooley reported last week that their City revenue had hit $243m and $105m respectively, boosted by increased deal activity throughout the year on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Dealmaking reached new heights last year according to a report from Refinitiv, with global M&A activity smashing through the full year record of $4.2trn set in 2015 to reach $5.9trn as the market bounced back from the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

King & Spalding advised on a number of deals last year worth more than $1bn, including Mailchimp’s $12bn acquisition by Intuit, the tech platform behind financial software solutions TurboTax, QuickBooks and Credit Karma, in September. A team from King & Spalding also led data analytics company Equifax through its $1.825bn acquisition of law enforcement and government agency-focused data analytics tech company Appriss Insights in August. 

Over the past year the firm has made a number of partner hires across its international bases from US rivals, including adding M&A ‘rising star’ Parveet Singh Gandoak in Singapore in November from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and veteran construction partners Vincent Rowan and Shareena Edmonds in London in January from Reed Smith.

Closer to home, last October the firm added six partners to its recently-launched global human capital and compliance practice in New York and Chicago from Seyfath Shaw, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Barnes & Thornburg.

And in August the firm hired antitrust partner Salomé Cisnal de Ugarte from Hogan Lovells to launch a competition practice in Brussels, in a year bookended by an office opening in North Virginia in the second half of 2020 and another in Miami this January.    

US rival White & Case, meanwhile, delivered an equally robust set of 2021 financial results last month with revenue increasing by 20% to $2.87bn against a 17% rise in PEP to $3.514m. The New York firm saw double digit revenue growth across all three of its regions, with Asia Pacific clocking up the steepest rise of 30% followed by the Americas (23%) and the EMEA region (15%).

Hogan Lovells posted a similar performance a week later, with the UK firm reporting revenue growth of 12.9% to reach $2.6bn against an eye-popping 25% increase in PEP to hit $2.49m. 


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