International Demand

DLA Piper Revenue Increases 10.8% to Nearly $3.5 Billion as Company Achieves Fifth Consecutive Year of Growth

Extensive life science and technology work in the United States and around the world helped DLA Piper achieve its fifth consecutive year of growth, with revenue up 10.8% to 3, $47 billion.

The global giant, whose revenue trailed only Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins in the 2021 Am Law 100 rankings, also posted earnings per financial partner of nearly $2.5 million, up 17.6% compared to the previous year.

Year-over-year financial performance of DLA Piper.

“WWe’ve seen our business and the people we serve continually evolve toward bigger engagements, better engagements, and bigger engagements for our customers,” said Frank Ryan, President of the Americas and Global Co-CEO.

While DLA Piper’s number of employees remained stable in 2021 at around 4,000 lawyers, the number of partners at the firm fell 3.5% in 2021. Ryan attributed this trend in part to changes in financial management in the United States which gave the firm more liquidity. at your fingertips and enabled more associates to receive a greater portion of their compensation in the form of fixed distributions throughout the calendar year, upgrading their status under American Lawyer guidelines to a status without capital. According to Ryan, additional “management” of the ranks of financial partners has also led to retirements and other changes.

Similar to 2020, the company’s U.S. operations stood out, with technology and life sciences revenues up around 20%. Within those two sectors, Ryan noted that private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance were all “incredibly hot.” Work on disputes in these two sectors was also significant and continued in the first quarter of 2022. Only restructuring was close to stagnation, which is consistent with other comparable companies in a booming market. .

In an example of the firm’s transactional capabilities in the United States, she advised Abry Partners on several transactions over the past year, including the $400 million sale of a supply and management company. pharmacies and a majority investment in healthcare IT solutions provider CloudWave. And on the litigation side, attorneys issued a Ninth Circuit decision ending a long-running mass tort accusing Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug Victoza of causing pancreatic cancer.

As a result of this and other work, for US partners, profits increased by nearly 30%, pushing $3 million on average, according to Ryan.

For us, a lot of that has to do with our global presence,” Ryan said. “We can say we had a great performance in the United States, but a lot of that is down to the global relationships we have and working together.”

The reverse is also true, according to co-global CEO Simon Levine.

“We’re glad that the American business recognizes the role we play, and we’re lucky to have such a strong American business helping us out,” Levine said.

Around the world, life sciences and technology also generated significant demand, with Levine also highlighting energy and natural resources, and green energy projects in particular. The opportunities for this work in the Nordic countries and in Africa have been particularly strong.

The company advised Swedish fashion retailer H&M Group on two major partnerships with global solar energy companies and advised global biopharmaceutical company HUTCHMED on its public offering in Hong Kong, following previous listings on the AIM London stock exchange, then on NASDAQ.

Unlike in previous years, company specific earnings in London were not available. They were $269,335,488 in 2020. But Levine identified the UK as one of the fastest growing regions, by double digits, along with Germany and Luxembourg, where private funds have prosperous.

Expenses varied on the card for DLA Piper. In the United States, increases in partner compensation have been significant and have trickled down to global markets which have seen a large influx of American companies. “Wage pressures in Eastern Europe are not large compared to wage pressure in the UK,” Levine noted.

He added that around the world, the company succeeds in recruiting talent not only with monetary compensation, but also through the ability to work internationally through secondments, other professional development opportunities and considerations. cultural, such as the company’s commitment to sustainability.

The latter is one of the reasons Ryan and Levine believe the company’s travel spending, while still being artificially suppressed in the second calendar year of the COVID pandemic, will never return to levels. before the pandemic. With growing concerns about sustainability, Levine noted that clients, in particular, are increasingly demanding that their professional services firms take a hard look at their own carbon footprint.

“WWe’re absolutely paying more attention, from a sustainability perspective, to how we achieve those goals for customers and the business, while not having to travel as often,” Levine said.

Meanwhile, company executives see the company’s real estate portfolio as another potential area for cost savings, as they consider how accommodations and other hybrid working arrangements can reduce space. These adjustments will also lead to increased spending on technology to ensure greater connectivity in the future.

Looking ahead, in the United States, the company is prioritizing growth in New York, Chicago, Texas and Silicon Valley, as well as its regulatory practice in Washington, DC, and continues to focus on life sciences and technology, while developing its capabilities in energy and natural resources.

And elsewhere in the world, the company plans to continue hiring in the UK, Paris, throughout Germany and Luxembourg and Brussels in Europe, as well as Tokyo, Singapore and Australia.