US push helps Kennedys post 8% revenue rise

Global turnover hits £286m for FY2021/22, buoyed by 24% hike in North America

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas Image courtesy of Kennedys

Kennedys has reported its highest revenue yet in its latest financial results, with global turnover in the 12 months to the end of April rising 8% to hit £286m. 

The precentage increase represents a slight drop from the previous financial year, when the firm grew turnover by 11% to £264m. 

Kennedys does not disclose profit per equity partner (PEP), though the firm's senior partner, Nick Thomas, told that the firm's profit figures would be down compared to last year's as a result of it spending more on travel and marketing after a period of saving brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The most significant increase this time round came in North America, where revenue was up 24% to £55m. The firm said the figure followed a continued period of growth fed by work from new and existing clients, a series of lateral hires and the opening of a new office in Delaware. 

Revenue in the UK, its main market, was more modest, rising by £1.4m to hit £153m. But the firm also saw strong growth across its other international jurisdictions, with Latin America seing a 20% increase to £8m, EMEA a 15.5% increase to £27m and APAC an 11% increase to £42m. 

Coming near the beginning of the UK financial reporting season, the results set a strong but not unexpected benchmark for the UK top 50 firms given the strength of global deal markets last year and in the first quarter of 2022. The 2021 Global Legal Post UK Law Firm Financial Results Tracker saw the top 50 report an average revenue increase of 6.8% against a rise in PEP of almost 20%. 

By comparison Osborne Clarke posted a bumper set of financial results earlier this month, with firm-wide revenue jumping 19% to hit €407m against an 11% rise in UK PEP to £796k. And national firm Weightmans yesterday announced that its total income had grown 5% to £103.2m as net profts shot up 25% to £11.3m. 

Thomas said: “I am very pleased that we have built upon last year’s figures with further growth. The figures reflect our continued growth into a significant global player and are a testament to the way our teams have continued to respond to and exceed client expectations.   

“We continue to look to the future with real confidence and I expect to make further announcements regarding new offices and hires throughout the year.”

The firm is very much in growth mode and has increased its headcount over the past year to 2,400 people, including 18 partner hires. Among them was veteran commercial litigator, Marc Casarino, who joined from US firm White and Williams in March to launch the office in Wilmington, Delaware.

Last summer the firm hired a 10-strong team of insurance lawyers from Clyde & Co to set up shop in Perth and relocated insurance, construction and disputes partner Jamie Kellick from Dubai to open its second office in the Middle East in Oman.

The firm has also been busily promoting internal talent, making up 22 lawyers to partner in a record round in May that was notable for its geographic spread. The firm also introduced a new legal director role, with 44 legal directors and 2 special counsels promoted.

The firm has announced a trio of new associations over the past year, one with Turkish law firm Baysal & Demir last August and one apiece in Bolivia and Ecuador in April that brought its associate office count to six across South America on top of the seven offices of its own in the region.

February saw Kennedys double its footprint in Madrid as part of its ‘WorkWise’ global workplace transformation programme. which will also see its London team move from Fenchurch Avenue into new office space in the city’s Walkie-Talkie building and its Sydney team move into 25 Martin Place. 

And just last month the firm announced that Kennedys Kognitive Computing, its technology operation in India, had more than doubled its office space as it continues to grow its development team. The new office space, which is based in Kerala’s IT hub ‘Technopark’, will initially be home to 30 employees but it has the capacity to add up to 40 more. 

Read the Global Legal Post UK law firm financial results tracker

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