Rude Health: White & Case City Revenues Up 18% and PEP Cracks $ 3M to Defy Covid
White & Case has traversed the pandemic minefield to generate its strongest financial results for the city yet. The London office grew sales 18% in 2020 to $ 397 million from $ 337 million in 2019.
Set against a backdrop of global success, the fast-paced London show has proven to be something of a revival in the face of disappointing results in 2019, when the city’s revenue fell 4% on subdued global sales growth of 7%.
Global sales increased 9% from $ 2.18 billion in 2019 to $ 2.4 billion in 2020. Earnings per equity partner (PEP) passed the $ 3 million mark, a 16% increase over $ 2.6 million a year ago.
Revenue per lawyer was just over $ 1 million, up 7% from $ 991,000 in 2019, although the number of lawyers increased by 2% from 2,204 to 2,257 and the number of equity partners increased by 3% rose from 332 to 342.
The results particularly mark the successful completion of White & Case’s 2020 Strategy, which placed London and New York at the center of their ambitions to expand explicitly in core markets.
Indeed, the city expansion was remarkable: the number of partners in London increased by 37% over the 2020 strategy period. There were 89 London partners on January 1, 2016 and 122 partners on January 1, 2021.
London Managing Director Melissa Butler (pictured) told Legal Business: “We have seen growth in all areas of our business. The entire office was very busy, especially the financial restructuring, bankruptcy and bankruptcy teams, but also capital markets and disputes. The entire London office did well, not just the down cycle practices. We are really proud of what we have achieved. ‘
Oliver Brettle, member of the Executive Committee, commented: “It was a tough year despite the pandemic with everyone around the world stuck and working extremely hard. Our settings for bankruptcy, restructuring and SPACs [special purpose acquisition companies] Work has helped maintain that success. ‘
Brettle called the London office “White & Case’s strongest office in the world” with record revenues, PEP and RPL in the city for 2020.
Still, Butler is wise about the ongoing troubles the pandemic brings. ‘2020 was an extremely challenging year on a deeply personal level and it is difficult to separate personal challenges from professional success. We have made our people a priority, and financial success is the result of that. ‘
Brettle added that American practice added double-digit growth rates to banking, capital markets, and litigation, and that EMEA was consistently strong. The Asia-Pacific region saw double-digit sales growth in 2019. “The strength and diversity of our practices and employees have helped us navigate with our customers,” he said.
With the company’s plans to return to the office after the lockdown, Butler was clear: “The well-being of our employees has always been a priority and will continue to guide our decisions. We have proven that we can work very well remotely and very well in the office. While we are very keen to get back to the office, we will not return until it is safe to do so. ‘
Brettle ended bullishly, highlighting positive stats on gender diversity. ‘We have sponsored 40 partners worldwide, of which 38% were women and 42% of the partner actions in the USA were women. Two thirds of the new partners in London were women. Women were continuously promoted in the partnership, and that is very important for the future of our global strategy. ‘