Profits per Partner were up by 13% to $1.44 million, driven by large client mandates, including high-value crossborder transactional and premium work which continues to be attractive to repeat clients. Investments in project management, centers of excellence in lower-cost locations, and more effective partnering with clients, supported by long-term investments in industry, practice and client programs have enabled profitable growth.
Baker McKenzie remains the most geographically diverse global law firm with revenues spread by region as follows: Asia Pacific 26%, EMEA 39%, Americas 35%. Baker McKenzie Chair Paul Rawlinson says, "You can't be global and successful without having an authentic core purpose to serve our clients. This means making continued investments in industry, practice and client programs and our people. Our excellent financial results -- including a 13% increase in PPP -- are based on long-term partnering with clients to create that magical 'win-win' through trust: delivering what clients value wins repeat business and allows us to invest for the future.
"We are currently also embarking on a major program aimed to make our professional and business services teams even more effective, mainly focused on transforming our use of technology to disrupt and challenge industry norms by maximising the efficiency and quality of our services and sharing those benefits with our clients. It's an exciting prospect and I would like to thank our clients for their loyalty and our people for their dedication."
Innovation to serve clients better Paul continues: "But it's not just talk. Baker McKenzie is the only law firm that offers a truly global integrated digital innovation platform to clients and this is already beginning to make a direct impact on our financial Page 2 of 4 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 that $50 million in annual revenue to support our core legal services on high-value mandates. Bringing global teams of people together with strong leaders and using globally deployed technology is winning us new business."
A stronger Baker McKenzie
This expansion of our innovation services continues a period of growth this year in Baker McKenzie's capabilities, as the Firm recently opened an office in Los Angeles with five highly regarded lateral partners. Investments in transactional capabilities in London, New York and China has paid off with a flow of significant deals and a number of high profile lateral hires. Last year Baker McKenzie closed an average of three deals a day. Further investments into Legal and Project Management, Pricing, Client and Practice management link closely to our ongoing Innovation initiatives.
The start of FY19 has seen the launch of a major program across the Firm's professional and business services functions to further enhance quality and effectiveness. Baker McKenzie recently announced plans to grow its Belfast global service center and the Firm shortly expects to announce the creation of new shared service centers to complement existing teams in Belfast and Manila. These centers will underpin a drive to be a more efficient organization.
Our practices and our sectors
Notably strong practices in FY18 included Trade, Employment & Capital Markets. Financial Institutions and Healthcare groups were the highest growth industry sectors.
The Firm advised on some of the world’s most important deals and cases during the year, including:
- Lead counsel on Knauf's $6 billion proposed takeover of USG Corporation.
- Board of Directors in the very recent LafargeHolcim investigation surrounding its operations in Syria.
- Canadian investor Brookfield Infrastructure Partners in the acquisition of Gas Natural Fenosa's 41.89% stake in a gas distribution business for $389 million.
- the largest hotel transaction in Argentina up to date: The sale of the Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center and Park Tower Hotel for approximately $100 million.
- DK Telekommunikation and a Macquarie managed consortium in $6.7 billion recommended public takeover of TDC A/S (a Danish telecoms business).
- a consortium of 40 Swiss banks in relation to the U.S. Department of Justice's unprecedented clampdown on offshore bank accounts.
- Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co.in four consolidated public shareholder class-action lawsuits arising out of its 2016 $5.7 billion acquisition and merger with StanCorp Financial Group.
- the world's largest hotel group, Marriott, with a landmark transaction that will allow the client to manage the first casino hotel set to be located in Madrid for 20 years
Many leading organizations recognized Baker McKenzie's innovation and leadership in FY18, including:
- Thomson Reuters has ranked the Firm No. 1 or 2 in the world by number of cross-border deals for the last 11 years. More than 65% of our deals are cross-border.
- For the 13th consecutive year, the Firm was ranked first for deals with emerging market involvement, by both number of announced and completed deals.
- Acritas recognized the Firm as the world’s strongest legal brand for the eighth year in a row.
- Identified as one of the best law firms for women by Working Mother magazine, Law360 and Euromoney.
- The Firm was honored to be one of Stonewall's 2018 Top Global Employers and the top Global LGBT+ Network of the Year.
- Chambers Global recognized Baker McKenzie more than any other law firm in its 2018 global guide.
- During FY18, we hired 53 lateral partners; talented lawyers from other top firms and experienced in-house counsel from leading multinationals. The Firm continued to focus on bolstering its transactional capabilities, in particular in London, New York and China, which accounted for a quarter of all new hires worldwide.
- In June we announced the election of 67 new partners. This latest investment in talent takes the number of partners worldwide to 1,600 as of 1 July 2018. 40% of the new promotions are women.
- 42% of our lawyers and 26% of our partners are women.
- We have increased total billable hours to 8.5 million.
Paul concludes, "We can look back on the last 12 months with a lot of pride. Not only are we financially stronger - with our fastest growth in a decade despite all the uncertainties the global economy and legal sector have faced – but also because we have a clear long-term strategy, a united group of partners, with a common purpose and vision and a key set of strategic priorities. In our recent annual staff survey, we heard clearly from our people that they have great pride in our Firm. Our commitment to our clients and our people is bearing fruit. This feedback gives me a lot of confidence in this very challenging market."
About Baker McKenzie
Baker McKenzie helps clients overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy. We solve complex legal problems across borders and practice areas. Our unique culture, developed over 65 years, enables our 13,000 people to understand local markets and navigate multiple jurisdictions, working together as trusted colleagues and friends to instil confidence in our clients. (www.bakermckenzie.com)