White & Case revenue edges down to $2.83bn as PEP drops back from record high

New York firm expresses satisfaction with 2022 performance given economic headwinds as PEP declines by 20%
WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 26, 2020: WHITE & CASE LLP sign at entrance to law firm

White & Case's office in Washington DC DCStockPhotography; Shutterstock

Revenue at top 10 US firm White & Case edged down by 1.5% in 2022 against a 20% decline in profit-per-equity partner (PEP).

The results, which see revenue dip to $2.83bn and PEP fall back to $2.8m from $3.5m in 2021, come off the back of a record 2021 and another strong performance in 2020.

They reflect the sharp decline in global deal activity in 2022 that has adversely impacted the bulk of  the top US firms, leading many to record falls in revenue and PEP after record highs the previous year.

“In a year when many big law firms faced significant headwinds, I’m pleased with our global revenue performance, which was only 1.5 per cent below the record revenue we delivered in 2021,” said executive committee member Oliver Brettle.

Revenue per lawyer at White & Case was down 7% while expenses increased by 9%, driven at least partly by a 6% rise in total lawyers at the firm, to 2,616. The number of equity partners increased by 7% to 390.

“Driven by our clients’ needs, we continued to invest in the future of White & Case by growing our partnership by more than five per cent with the promotion of 46 lawyers to partner and the addition of 39 lateral partners,” said Brettle.

The ongoing drip feed of US law firm results for the 2022 calendar year has painted a varied picture, reflecting the exposure of firms to different markets and sectors. 

With a presence in 30 countries, White & Case has posted a stronger revenue performance than Hogan Lovells, another top 10 US firm with a large international network. The transatlantic firm saw revenue decline by 6.7% to $2.43bn against an 8.2% drop in PEP to $2.28m.

In London, where White & Case has more than 400 lawyers and the third-highest revenue of a US firm, turnover edged up by 1.3% to around $451m.

Dipen Sabharwal, office executive partner, noted that the office had “crossed the US$450 million barrier for the first time and represented around a sixth of the Firm’s global revenue”.

He added: “It continues London’s upward trajectory and maintains our track record over a period of years of making a strong contribution to the Firm’s global financial performance.”

White & Case clocked in at fifth place in Refinitiv’s 2022 M&A league table by volume, advising on 526 deals with a total value of $334bn.

In March last year, the firm parted company with its Bratislava office, which launched as an independent firm, shortly before it announced its withdrawal from Moscow in the light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It opened a Luxembourg office in the same month. 

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