Simmons posts 1% revenue rise as it hires Pinsents banking partner

Simmons & Simmons has become the latest firm to announce its half year results, with the City player posting a slight increase in fee income over the first six months of the 2015-16 financial year.

The firm brought in just over £142m during May-October this year, up from the previous year’s figure of £140m, equating to growth of roughly 1%.

The figure compares to an 8% rise in revenue over the first half of the 2014-15 financial year, with Simmons going on to post an 8% increase in revenue for the full year alongside a 17% hike in profit per equity partner (PEP) to £650,000.

The broadly flat result means Simmons is lagging behind a host of other UK firms to have already confirmed H1 results. Increases range from 4% at Allen & Overy and Nabarro, through to 25% at Osborne Clarke. This week Clydes and Gateley posted an 8% and 11% rise respectively. 

Hoyland told Legal Week: “I don’t think [the revenue result] is spectacular but it is solid. We had a very good first half last year. Frankly, it is difficult to keep on growing and I do not expect to reach similar levels of revenue growth this [financial] year.”

He highlighted IP, contentious disputes, corporate and real estate as high-performing practice areas but added that finance was “slower” this year after a sharp rise in financial markets activity last year. 

Despite a recovery in the run up to Christmas, Hoyland said financial markets remain under pressure from concerns surrounding the performance of the Euro, “Brexit” and the slowdown in China. 

By region, Hoyland said activity levels rose across continental Europe and Asia while London continued to put in a steady performance.

The news comes as Simmons has hired Pinsent Masons City banking partner Will Greig for its real estate finance team just days after Pinsents hired a Simmons partner from the same practice.

Greig will joins Simmons’ real estate finance team next week (21 December) after nearly 10 years working as a partner at Pinsents. 

He will arrive shortly after the depature of Simmons’ real estate finance partner Richard Hughes to Pinsents after nearly nine years with the firm.

With the addition of Greig, Simmons will have 15 real estate finance partners globally.

Commenting on the hire, Hoyland said: “It is a one-off hire but we are keen to expand in real estate finance. I think the combination of funds and real estate has real potential. What we are looking for are real estate partners that don’t primarily act for real estate companies but act for real estate funds.”

Simmons has 24 offices across Europe, Asia and the Middle East but is set to close its Rome office in January.