Simmons doubles revenue growth rate to 12% but PEP holds steady

Turnover hits £521m but PEP remains constant at £1m

Jeremy Hoyland Image courtesy of Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons grew revenue 12% to £521m in the year ending 30 April 2023, though a “challenging global business environment” saw profit growth slow.

The latest rise in turnover doubled the previous year’s growth rate of 6%, but profit growth slowed from 8% to 2%, for a total of £189m. Profit per equity partner (PEP) remained constant at £1m. 

The results see Simmons become the latest UK firm to report flat or lower partner profits in spite of strong growth in turnover as reporting season gets underway, among them Ashurst, Osborne Clarke and Allen & Overy. HFW has bucked the trend, however, reporting a 17.5% jump in PEP to £786k. 

Simmons’ managing partner, Jeremy Hoyland, was upbeat about the results, saying they showed the firm was “able to thrive in a challenging global business environment with ongoing geopolitical uncertainty.”

He added that the results were driven by a combination of internal investment, strong client relationships and the firm’s strategy to focus on four sectors: healthcare and life sciences, financial institutions, TMT and asset management and investment funds. 

Over the course of the year, the firm made 22 lateral partner hires globally and in April promoted 13 more lawyers to partner, increasing its overall partner headcount by 12, according to Legal Business

Simmons highlighted the 29% growth of its healthcare and life sciences work, which it said was supported by advising four of the leading developers behind the Covid-19 vaccines. 

The firm said it had also advised more than 80% of the largest 50 global asset managers, most leading hedge funds and some of the world’s largest institutional investors on investments, including APG and Schroders Capital. 

Simmons’ NewLaw business, Solutions, continued to perform strongly – particularly its flexible resourcing platform Adaptive, which grew income by 28% in the past year and has grown by 111% over the past four years. 

The firm said its results were also driven by the development of its ESG offering across investments, risk, regulation and the energy transition, as well as the TMT-focused Silicon Valley office – led by partner Emily Jones – which it opened in February 2022 in order to strengthen the firm’s relationships with major US tech companies and connect with growing tech firms looking to internationalise.

Hoyland told Legal Business that the firm was winning work it otherwise wouldn’t have thanks to the Silicon Valley office but did not intend to focus on the US market, where it “would only ever be small”, instead continuing to invest in Europe and looking to build its presence in Asia. 

“Our ambitious new business plan will build on this growth, ensuring we deepen our international network and embrace technological change by digitalising our operations and expanding our Solutions business,” he said. “Simmons is very strongly positioned to respond to the demands of a changing world and meet clients’ evolving business needs.”

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