Shearman & Sterling posts 'stellar' 58% jump in PEP as revenue grows 18% to hit $1bn

Latest US financial results also see MoFo report its numbers, with London revenue up 27% to $82m

Shearman & Sterling's finances have bounced back strongly after a disappointing performance last year, with the firm reporting an eye-catching 58% jump in profit-per-equity-partner (PEP) to just over $3m with revenue up by 18% to $1.01bn.

Also posting its numbers this week is international rival Morrison & Foerster, which said its global revenue grew 6% to exceed $1.2bn for the first time, while PEP grew 10% from $2.22m to $2.47m. 

Shearman's jump in PEP comes off the back of a 23% decline the previous year when revenue also fell, by 11%, making it one of the few top 100 firms not to record positive growth. But the latest results more than make up for those declines.

Shearman & Sterling’s senior partner, David Beveridge, said: “We experienced stellar performance, generating the highest revenue and profitability in our history”, he said, adding: “As a firm, we had a clear strategy throughout 2021 and we were able to deliver these strong results." 

Shearman worked on a number of deals worth more than $1bn during 2021, including advising: SAP and Qualtrics International on a $1.56bn carve out of Qualtrics from SAP; Hitachi on its acquisition of GlobalLogic, a transaction valued at $9.5 bn; and Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus on their acquisition of T-Mobile Netherlands for €5.1bn.

The New York firm said it also secured courtroom victories in disputes for clients including SS&C Technologies, Bank of America, Citigroup, General Electric and Morgan Stanley.

Shearman kicked off 2021 with the addition of finance partners Florian Harder and Jann Jetter in Munich from Linklaters to re-launch in the city and added partners across its offices in the US, London and Singapore throughout the year. Among the new arrivals was corporate lawyer Phil Cheveley, who joined the firm in London in March from Travers Smith to lead its EMEA M&A team, part of a wider strategy to grow its global deals capability.

In October the firm also added a quartet partners in Paris from DLA Piper specialising in advising financial services clients on M&A, private equity, leveraged finance and restructuring matters. The group included Xavier Norlain, DLA Piper’s co-managing partner in France.

However, in a notable move, in January 2020 it parted company with eight arbitration partners, including its global practice heads, who set up their own specialist firm.

MoFo, meanwhile, said its 2021 results come on the heels of four years of strong financial performance. Revenue in its London office grew by more than 20% for the fifth consecutive year, increasing from £47.2m ($60.8m) in 2020 to £59.9m ($82.1m) last year, an increase of 27%.

Landmark London deals included advising SoftBank on the $40bn sale of UK-headquartered multinational semiconductor and software design company Arm to US chip company NVIDIA; and representing the official committee of unsecured creditors of Houston-based offshore drilling company Valaris and its affiliated debtors in their chapter 11 cases and parallel UK administration proceedings.

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