Sidley sees UK revenue climb to $209.7m as global turnover tops $3bn in 2023

UK practice accounts for almost 15% of global revenue as sports and restructuring deals grow

Sidney’s London office grew revenue 12.4% in dollar terms in 2023 Shutterstock

Top 10 US firm Sidley Austin increased its UK revenue by 12.4% in dollar terms to $209.7m in the 2023 financial year, accounting for about 15% of its global turnover, which edged up 6.1% to $3.1bn.

Profit per equity partner rose 10.3% globally to $4.59m.

The firm's UK performance was helped by private capital work in the sports world, teams recently having advised the new owners of West Bromwich Albion Football Club and Clearlake, the investment group that bought Chelsea Football Club in 2022. 

Lawyers in the firm’s London office also advised infrastructure and real asset investment firm Stonepeak on its £450m investment in UK roadside assistance business AA, and advised Coupang on its $500m rescue acquisition of online luxury fashion marketplace Farfetch through a so-called pre-pack administration deal.

Other notable transactions included advising outsourcing business Atento on the restructuring of its $760m financial liabilities and a $113m new capital raise, led by new partner hire Kieran Sharma, who returned to the firm in January last year from Strategic Value Partners, a private equity firm.

New infrastructure partners James MacArthur and Ed Freeman – who joined Sidley from Weil Gotschal & Manges last March – also recently advised Pictet Alternative Advisors on its acquisition of a controlling interest in UK facilities manager Pareto FM.

As well as Sharma, MacArthur and Freeman, other partner-level lateral hires in London last year included those of M&A and private equity lawyer Phil Cheveley, from Shearman & Sterling, and private equity lawyers Ramy Wahbeh and Kaisa Kussk, from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. M&A and private equity lawyer Ali Shaikley also joined from White & Case in March last year, splitting his time between London and New York. 

As of 1 January this year, the firm had 209 lawyers in London, including 46 partners, making London its largest overseas office and fifth-largest office overall, according to data supplied by Pirical. It has the 16th-largest presence in London by headcount among its top 100 US peers.

In December, the firm said it was elevating 29 lawyers to partner in its latest global promotions round, two of whom were based in London – disputes lawyer Sarah Lainchbury and private equity lawyer Jonathon Hamill. 

The London office has also seen a number of partner departures over the past year, including private equity lawyer Eleanor Shanks, who left for Herbert Smith Freehills in October, and funds partner Mateja Maher, who left for Latham & Watkins in July.

Earlier this year, the firm also said it was hiking London NQ pay to £166.5k, a 4.4% raise. US firms have been raising starting salaries for lawyers in London amid fierce competition for new talent, outbidding their UK Magic Circle rivals.

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