According to a post in Lawyers Weekly today, Clyde & Co is celebrating its 10th birthday here in Australia – “Happy Birthday!” .
How time flies; and there is no doubt that Clydes has done well here in Australia. As the LW article points out, the firm has enjoyed:
“a growth rate of 115 per cent in the country since 2018.”
Which, to be fair, is not a one-off year as the financial figures show:
“The firm has maintained yearly growth rates of over 20 per cent for the past five years.”
As sustainable growth, which over 5 years you have to assume it is, and an underlying culture that must be driving this growth, everyone would say have to say – “wow, can we have some of that!”.
As impressive as these accolades are – and I’m a huge fan* of how this one time shipping insurance firm has been able to pivot into one of the world’s leading cyber/privacy/technology firms which has resulted in Australia currently ranking its global operations as:
“Clyde & Co’s third-largest country by fees generated”
I have a concern.
And that is this:
“Clyde & Co exceeds $100m in annual revenue in Australia”
Followed by this:
As I first pointed out way back in 2013 and several times since, Australian-based law firms primarily earning/reporting revenue in Australian Dollars, but with accounting systems and tax years based on British Pounds (or US$s), face the dragon known as ‘exchange rates’.
So what does that mean?
The answer is in that chart, it is also in the Lawyers Weekly headline, but I suspect – most importantly – it is in the individual Australian partners’ direct contribution, because that chart tells me there is every chance they could be the third biggest revenue earning geographic zone for the firm globally, and a hell of a long way down the pecking order when it comes to partner distribution.
Anyhow, “Happy Birthday Clydes!”
As usual, comments are my own (*although in this case I will add that while I don’t, now ever have, worked at Clydes I do know a lot of people who do and I greatly admire the work they do).