Despite global revenue topping $2.5 billion for the first time, net profit at DLA Piper has slumped 9.2 percent.
Growth at the firm increased 2.5 percent last year to $2.54 billion and the firm now joins Latham & Watkins as the only firms with annual turnover in excess of $2.5 billion. However, despite the milestone revenue result, net profit at the firm tumbled 9.2 per cent to $605.5 million, though a downsized equity partnership helped average profit per equity partner grow 5.4 percent year-on-year from $1.49 million to $1.57 million. Revenue per lawyer remained flat at $675,000.
Shrinking equity partnership
In 2015, DLA Piper experienced strong growth in its real estate, M&A and investigations practices. However, a stricter approach to performance management culled 14 percent of the firm’s equity partnership and placed a heavy drag on net profit. The performance crackdown also included the introduction of a points-based remuneration system designed to bring partner pay in line with profit performance. In total, 62 equity partners left DLA Piper over the course of last year.
DLA Piper significantly expanded its international presence last year, launching its first two offices on the African continent in South Africa and Morocco. It also sealed tie-ups with Davis in Canada and Peltonen LMR in Finland.