Global giant Baker & McKenzie has reported a 2.1% rise in its fee income, taking its turnover to a record US$2.3 billion (£1.5bn) for the financial year ending 30 June 2012. However net income fell by 34%, from $1.2bn (£0.7m) to $790m (£506m). Profit per equity partner was down 9% to $1.09m.

The world’s largest legal firm said revenue gains were driven by double-digit growth in Latin America and a single-digit increase in Asia Pacific. Revenues were flat across North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Demand was particularly strong for matters related to corporate reorganizations, tax planning, private equity, corporate compliance, embargoes and anti-corruption matters, as well as matters related to antitrust and competition, employment litigation and intellectual property.

Baker & McKanzie said the drop reflected the less robust economic activity in developed markets, a stronger US dollar, and heavy investments in talent and in strategic markets, including new offices in Turkey, South Africa and Morocco and key hires in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Eduardo Leite, chairman of the firm’s executive committee, said: ‘Our results reflect our return to investments that were deferred during the recent crisis years as well as the challenging circumstances confronting our clients in an uncertain global economy.

‘We continue to see clients act on impressive strategic transactions and financings, but with more caution and financial discipline.’