Baker McKenzie boosts industry with record $2.9 billion revenues

Baker McKenzie, the leading global law firm, has announced revenues for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2017 (FY17) of $2.67 billion. In terms of constant currency, the most accurate measurement of the financial performance of any global professional services firm, Baker McKenzie’s revenues were up 5% compared to previous year. In $US, the Firm’s reporting currency, this translates into growth of 2.1%, highlighting the appreciation of the US dollar against most other currencies in the period.

Baker McKenzie is the most diverse global law firm with revenues spread by regions as follows: Asia Pacific 26%, EMEA 37%, Americas 37%. All of our regions’ revenues grew in FY17 by 4% or more.

Profits per Partner were up by 1.2% or 0.2% in dollar terms at $1.3 million. Since 2007, our PPP has increased by over 20%.

“A 5% revenue growth and 1% increase in profit is a strong performance in difficult circumstances. It means that over the last decade, our Firm has grown revenues by 50% without a significant merger. Very few global law firms can match that.

“We have plenty else to be proud of this year – record client demand for our services, a great crop of new lateral hires, the successful launch of our market-leading innovation initiative, and our long-term strategic investments in New York, London and China paying off. The market is increasingly seeing Baker McKenzie not only as the No. 1 legal brand in the world but also as a truly innovative and integrated organization with a clear vision and purpose, as well as its own unique culture,” Paul adds.


FY17 saw the formal launch of our innovation initiative, which has already made some major announcements. Baker McKenzie is the only law firm to partner with the World Economic Forum on their Fourth Industrial Revolution project, which aims to accelerate the deployment of technology and science for positive impact on individuals and the societies, while minimizing their downside risks.

Baker McKenzie recently announced the opening of our Toronto-based Whitespace Collab as a major hub for driving collaboration between the Firm and clients, and in May we highlighted how we became the first law firm to roll out machine learning technology on a global scale.

Not only are these initiatives benefitting all of our clients and people, but they are also already beginning to make a direct financial impact on our financial performance. We estimate that our use of alternative legal services in Belfast, our e-discovery platforms and our use of legal project management are already bringing in more than $20 million in annual revenue.

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Kennedys’ turnover increases 31% after year of mergers

A 31 per cent rise in turnover at Kennedys saw the firm’s global turnover rise from £149.9m to £196m, while UK turnover grew 14 per cent from £101.5m to £118m.

Much of this growth was attributed to its merger with Manchester-based commercial litigation boutique Berg as well as a rapid expansion programme which saw the firm make numerous hires from now-defunct Sedgwick Chudleigh, establish four new offices and secure its transatlantic merger with Carroll McNulty & Krull.

Kennedys declined to publish its profit, which stood at £27.2m in 2016/17, saying that “the firm maintained profitability levels and continued to increase its investment in innovation”.

Speaking on the results, Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas said: “Global growth and innovation sum up our focus during 2017/18. We experienced unprecedented growth, which is aligned to our global strategy to be the go-to firm for the insurance sector and to provide the best on-the-ground capability where our clients tell us they need it.

“10 office openings over a 12-month period may seem like a lot but these are all firms and people that we have been in discussion with for a long time. They all complement the firm’s core business and strengthen our market proposition for clients. I feel very proud of our achievements, and most importantly, our clients could not be more supportive.”

Though the firm has shown a notable slowing of its global footprint since the turn of the calendar year, Kennedys’ expansion last year saw it branch out into a number of new jurisdictions.

The firm ended 2017 by establishing an association with Puerto Rican firm Cólon & Cólon having already opened up in Argentina, Bangkok and Melbourne in the final four months of last year.

While international growth appeared to be the firm’s main focus in 2017, Kennedys made a double-partner hire from Mayer Brown, drafting in Ingrid Hobbs and Andy Westlake.

Thomas went on to say: “Alongside this we have invested heavily in innovation, from launching our global Ideas Lab, enhancing our existing suite of products (Kennedys Toolkit), through to strengthening our development team in India who will support our ambitious plans for delivering 21st century legal services to our clients. We will continue to set Kennedys apart through our award winning tools as we feel this is critical to the future of legal services.”