Allen & Overy has today reported record income and profits, taking advantage of ‘more stable’ global markets and returns from a ’strategy of counter-cyclical investment through the financial crisis’. 

The magic circle firm posted a profit rise of 7% in the year to 30 April to £532m, on revenue up 2% to £1.23bn. Profit per equity partner (PEP) increased 7% to £1.12m.

Wim Dejonghe, global managing partner, said the results mirror Allen & Overy’s five-year growth trajectory. Profit and turnover figures are the firm’s ‘highest ever’ he told the Gazette.

Yesterday magic circle rival Clifford Chance also reported record income of £1.36bn, a 7% rise. Profits rose 14% to £459m, while PEP increased 16% to £1.14m.

Dejonghe said profit margins remained high at A&O due to efficiency measures such as the centralisation of its global services in Belfast three years ago - which has yielded an ‘increasing return on our investment’ - combined with the increased productivity of its lawyers.

He said growth is expected to continue at a similar pace this year: ‘We’ve had a strong start to the year so far and good cross-border growth. I’d expect to continue along this path.’

Performance was particularly strong in Germany, London, Luxembourg, Singapore and the UAE.

Last year profits at the firm rose 2.2% to £496.7m on turnover little changed on 2011/12. 

During 2013/14 the firm opened an office in Myanmar and expects to open offices in Barcelona and Toronto in 2014/15.

Dejonghe added: ’We saw a very strong first three-quarters with some softening during the final quarter of last year. The global economy has begun to recover, but that recovery has not been uniform across all markets.

’This has seen the natural hedge from our broad geographic and practice spread deliver another consistent result.’