HSF LLPs reveal 2015-16 revenue figure almost £40m lower than previously reported

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Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has posted a revised 2015-16 revenue figure almost £40m lower than the amount the firm reported last July.

In its newly filed limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts for 2015-16, the firm states that it took in revenue of £832.2m for the year ending 30 April 2015-16, up 4% on the previous year’s figure of £802.3m.

These figures are significantly down on the numbers released by the firm last summer, when it reported turnover of £870m, up from £815m.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “The figures we provided in July 2016 compared the performance of our business on a currency neutral basis – ie we translated non-sterling revenue and expenses to sterling at the same foreign exchange rates for FY16 and FY15, otherwise we would have significantly undervalued the economic contribution of non-UK offices (which account for around 55%+ of revenues).”

The accounts also show that the firm’s highest paid partner took home £1.6m in 2015-16, a drop of 11% from the previous year’s figure of £1.8m.

The average number of people employed by the firm during the year was up 5% to 4,073, included a 7.5% increase in fee earners, from 2,154 to 2,317. However, total salaries remained almost static, inching up 0.6% from £309.7m to £311.6m.

The accompanying members’ report highlights HSF’s disputes practice as having had “an exceptional year”, adding that the firm’s corporate practice “advised on over 100 cross-border deals totalling $100bn (£80bn)”.

It also states that the firm saw a “significant rise in the number of key client panel appointments, from 140 to 161″, including panel wins for Weir Group, National Grid, Bank of Queensland, British Land and RBS.

Last year, the Anglo-Australian firm opened offices in Duesseldorf and Johannesburg, the latter of which it boosted this month with the hire of senior competition partner Jean Meijer from Bowmans.

However, HSF has suffered a series of exits during the past 12 months, with more than 20 partners departing the firm across London and Asia-Pacific. Former partners have claimed that a change in culture and increased management of lockstep are factors driving these exits.

From May, the firm will be led by sole CEO Mark Rigotti. Rigotti has been joint CEO of HSF alongside dispute resolution veteran Sonya Leydecker since May 2014. Last year, HSF announced that it was phasing out its joint CEO leadership structure, with the global partnership council putting forward Australian Rigotti to take on the post alone.