A&O partner profits leap 17% to £1.9 million

By on

Revenue rises to £1.77 billion

Allen & Overy’s London office

Allen & Overy has posted strong financial results for 2021, with profits rocketing thanks in part to “exceptionally high levels of M&A activity”.

The magic circle player confirmed revenues rose 5% to £1.77 billion and profit per equity partner (PEP) jumped 17% to £1.9 million. Profit before tax is up 19% to £822 million.

The figures are a marked improvement on the firm’s 2020 performance, which saw both firm and partner profits shrink 2.5% and 1.7%, respectively.

The firm — which is the first of the magic circle to go public with its 2021 results — said it had enjoyed increased revenues across all transactional and disputes practices, as well as strong performances in all regions, in particular the UK, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and the US.

Commenting on the results, global managing partner Gareth Price said:

“Like many organisations, we have been really tested over the last year and I’m proud of all our people and the way we responded. We took the time to find out the specific needs of our clients as Covid hit and gave them the support they needed. We focused on the wellbeing of colleagues as they worked remotely and often very long hours. And we looked after the people in our supply chain in a responsible way.”

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Price continued: “The culture we have built over many years and the short-term decisions we took early on ensured that our business not only survived but thrived during the pandemic, without seeking any government support. Our services are more in demand now than ever in our history and we have started the new financial year strongly, driven in particular by exceptionally high levels of M&A activity.”

Elsewhere, Taylor Wessing enjoyed a 12% increase in UK revenue to £175.5 million and a 23% uptick in UK profit to £71 million. It also posted an 18% jump in PEP and firm record for global revenue at £371.3 million.

UK managing partner Shane Gleghorn said: “Our focus this financial year has been our people and clients, and these pleasing results are attributable to their commitment to the firm. We anticipated, and had, a slow start to our financial year due to the contraction caused by the onset of the pandemic.”

He added: “We were confident, however, that the focus of our sector and practice groups positioned us well for a significant uptick in activity coming out of the second quarter, and that proved to be the case. That has resulted in the firm recording the highest ever revenue and profit for the UK business, which is a credit to our people. We saw the onset of our investment strategy in people and technology contributing to these strong results.”

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter


Fed Up

That’s great, now pay your associates please.


Disgruntled A&O lawyer

Shame this wasn’t reflected in the most recent bonus round or salary review (where pay bands were frozen).


PE World

Will probably push them to raise NQ base to £100k. This will be the norm for all MCs shortly except Slaughters which, you can say what you want, but now is not anymore MC but rather an “independent shop”.

MC = CC, Links, FF, AO

SC = HSF, HL, NRF, Mishcon, Simmons, Bakers

Independent = Macs, Travers, Slaughters

Mid-market = CMS, DLA, Eversheds, Fieldfisher



More like physical education world

Bakers SC? You’ve been popping up in a lot of posts recently and have been talking complete nonsense in about 90% of them. Obviously you’ve got no idea about the legal market whatsoever



Yea, this joker is the same pinhead who claimed Fried Frank was a heavy hitting shop in London 😂😂😂


PE World

It is. For funds and PE.


PE World

Down-voters literally have no clue what they are on about.


Cool story bro 😂🤡

More like physical education world

lol just assume everything they say is bs because it almost certainly will be



How would you categorise Bakers? Genuinely curious.


BM Associate

It’s a genuinely global firm, kinda like DLA except we actually care about cultural cohesion rather than having a load of franchised outposts. Very much it’s own band – many firms are intentional, very few have a genuinely global offering. FBD might say their international but their Bahrain office is actually two UK qualified partners, an office manager and their dog.

Best example of this is that BM often get mandates for ‘rest of world’ advice on a deal, working alongside K&E, etc. who don’t have the global bench strength.



Lmao what are you going on about pinboi, Baker McDonalds is such a toilet firm. 😂🤡


It’s – its
Their – they’re
, – ;


Mishcon isn’t SC. It is a West End firm.


rolley the eyeses

Lol what precisely defines an ‘independent’ shop.



P*ss off you flog 😂🤡


Stop pls

You can’t just start making up your own lists. It doesn’t work like that.



Would love to read a piece on WHY most law firms have seen such large increases in their revenues and profits. Because it hasn’t been due to an increase in deals and closings. Both have declined.

A&O said in the Lawyer that a reduction of travel costs have led to the profit increases. However I wonder whether they just don’t want to admit that staff are just more productive at home.



I think deals have been at ATH levels for close to a year now so that’s what’s led to an uptick across the board for lawyers but across the finance/M&A/PE sphere globally. Just have to see all the banks and investment firms beasting their juniors and falling over themselves to offer bonuses/better comp for people to stay to close deals. Cheap credit, lots of dry powder to be invested, investors looking for yield everywhere and anywhere due to low interest rates have played a big part in this bonanza. I’ve been working in the City for a decade and have never seen a market like I’ve seen over the past year – it’s relentless! It does seem like it’ll lose some steam soon but not too sure when!


US Transactional Associate

Speak for yourself, our transactional team has seen nearly 4x the usual amount of deals during the first half of this year and the dip during Covid was short lived and not equivalent.

That’s absolutely what’s driving the uptick in revenues from my perspective and it’s been grim!



Will they increase associate pay?


A&O Associate



Sweaty toiler

Any news on NQ salary raises at SPB? It’s miserable living off beans on toast all week long 🥫🥪😭



Pays to be a cheap see you next Tuesday.

Where’s that trickle down economics when you need it.



Exactly, and attributing it publicly to reduced travel costs in the hope their “greedy” associates don’t realise it’s off the back of their own hard work and start “demanding” more..


Comments are closed.

Related Stories