Simmons & Simmons points to international expansion as revenue rises 6% to £465m

PEP tops £1m for the first time as London firm highlights investment in Germany and Silicon Valley

Jeremy Hoyland Image courtesy of Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons has posted a 6% revenue increase to £465m against a 2% rise in profit per equity partner (PEP), which has edged above £1m for the first time. 

The leading London firm has also grown its profits by 8% to £185m for the year ending 30 April 2022, achieved, it maintains, against the background of what managing partner Jeremy Hoyland has dubbed an “ambitious growth strategy”.

Though solid, the latest results don’t match the eye-catching growth rates Simmons posted for the 2020/21 financial year, when revenue rose by 12% to £437m and profit jumped 35% to £171m. 

They are nonetheless broadly in line with results reported recently by fellow UK firms Pinsent Masons and Kennedys, which grew revenue by 6% and 8% respectively, though behind Osborne Clarke, which saw fee income grow by a whopping 19%. 

The firm said that its growth had been supported by the 25 partner laterals it had made across 10 offices, with nearly half of the new arrivals joining the financial markets practice and a significant number being added to the international dispute resolution and corporate commercial teams. 

In January the firm hired patent partners Dr Fritz Lahrtz and Stephanie Nottrott in Munich along with a team of patent lawyers from German IP specialist Isenbruck Bösl Hörschler, in a significant boost to the firm's healthcare and life sciences offering in Europe.  

It also added Osborne Clarke’s former Silicon Valley managing partner, Emily Jones, in February to launch a TMT-focused office in the Bay Area, its first in the US, and in April hired Morgan Stanley Investment Management's former head of sustainability, Sonali Siriwardena, as its first global head of ESG

Along with the lateral hires, the firm pointed to its 13-strong partner promotion round in April, one of its largest in recent years, as supporting its growth. The cohort included four women, which senor partner Julien Taylor acknowledged fell short of its target for 40% of its promoted partners annually to be women. 

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The firm also highlighted the continued strong performance of its Solutions business and in particular its legal tech division Wavelength, which grew by more than a third (39%) last year, and Adaptive - the firm's flexible resourcing platform – which grew external income by 25% and expanded into Asia and Ireland. 

“Our Solutions business provides us an essential platform to innovate in response to evolving client demands and we will continue to invest in this arm of the business. The firm is well positioned to meet the challenges and uncertainties that lay ahead of us,” Hoyland said. 

Inevitably, Simmons also lost some partners during the reporting period, including a five-strong real estate team led by partner Dr Oliver Beyer which left in May for the Frankfurt and Munich offices of UK rival Norton Rose Fulbright. That same month, competition partner Peter Broadhurst joined Crowell & Moring in London. 

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