K&L Gates London office sees record year as firm announces 2011 figures

K&L Gates has posted record revenues in London as the US firm announces a marginal increase in firmwide fee income for 2011.

The US firm’s global turnover edged up 0.6% to $1.1bn (£677.3m) during the last calendar year, while London revenue grew by 10% to hit £33m.

The London figures represent the best year in the office’s history, with London administrative partner Tony Griffths singling out competition, litigation and structured finance as particularly strong performers.

Meanwhile, firmwide profits per equity partner (PEP) slid 4.3% to $890,000 (£568,000) during 2011, while revenue per lawyer rose by 0.7% to $603,000 (£383,000).

In a statement, the firm said: “Our growth in London in the last two years has been due in no small part to the re-orientation of the office, its further integration into the firmwide platform, and the focus of our offerings to clients. Lateral hiring has been fundamental to that restructuring and will continue into 2012.”

Last month the top 20 US firm hired Addleshaw Goddard business crime specialist Elizabeth Robertson, the first partner in its new City corporate crime practice, with further hires expected in the coming months.

The expansive firm opened offices in Brussels, Doha, Sao Paulo and Charleston over the course of 2011, followed by a Milan base early this year, with around 50 lateral hires boosting its global lawyer headcount to almost 2,000.

K&L Gates chairman and global managing partner Peter Kalis said: “If present economic conditions persist, most law firms will be challenged in 2012. We intend to meet that challenge through continued growth of inter-office – and especially cross-border – work and through emphasis of practices including government enforcement and intellectual property litigation.”

Related: K&L Gates hires Addleshaws partner for City white collar crime launch.