Milbank posts 10% City revenue hike as global chair hails ‘blockbuster’ London hires

Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has posted a 10% London revenue rise to $125m (£90m) for 2017, weeks after making a series of significant lateral hires for its City base.

The US firm’s London revenue has jumped from the 2016 figure of $114m, which at today’s currency rate equates to £82m.

London co-managing partner Suhrud Mehta, who also heads up the firm’s European leveraged finance practice, attributed the strong results to “high performance” from a range of practice areas.

“When you’ve got a business as big as ours, it requires high performance from every area. Ideally that high performance is on an integrated basis – we are thriving as a result of  integration with the US,” he said. “Many practice areas have been hugely busy and have contributed in a hugely valuable way.”

The firm is yet to reveal its global financial results for 2017, but in 2016 saw revenues rise 11% to $855.5m, with profit per equity partner growing 13% to $3.12m.

Milbank has recently boosted its City base with a number of heavyweight partner hires from US rivals.

Last month, it raided Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft for a four-partner London team led by restructuring star Yushan Ng, and the following week sealed the hire of highly-rated high yield partner Apostolos Gkoutzinis from Shearman & Sterling, who is being followed to Milbank by fellow high yield partner Rebecca Marques, who was made up at the start of the year.

Milbank chairman Scott Edelman (pictured) described both sets of hires as “blockbusters”.

He said: “We are very pleased with these hires – they’re both going to be blockbusters. Apostolos really is top of the market – what he’s done at a young age is remarkable. Combining him with Mehta and the team is going to give us a dominant bank bond practice in London, and provide us with the ability to compete with everybody for the biggest and best mandates.

“We’ve done the same thing successfully in New York and we are now one of the few firms that’s got a first-rate bank bond US and UK offering – strategically, it’s terrific.”

He added: “We have one of the best restructuring practices in New York and we heard about Yushan from some of our US clients and our existing restructuring team in London. He was described to us as one of the top restructuring practitioners in London – by putting together the US team and the expanded UK team, we’re going to have a cross-border restructuring practice.”

However, Edelman stressed that the moves do not represent a more generalised continued push into the London lateral hiring market for the firm.

“We only want to do lateral hires when they’re people that are top of the market. It’s not going to happen all the time; only when opportunities present themselves. These two opportunities happened to coincide.”

Prior to this flurry of recruitment, Milbank last made a lateral hire in London in 2015 when it took on Clifford Chance London banking partner Nick Swinburne for its transportation practice.