PwC reports global revenues up 3% to US$43 billion

For the 12 months ending 30 June 2020, PwC firms around the world had gross revenues of US$43 billion – up 3% in local currency and 1.4% in US dollars.

During the first nine months of FY20 to the end of March, revenues grew by nearly 7% over the same period last year with increases across all lines of business and in every major market. From April to June, revenues were significantly impacted by the lockdown and subsequent slowing economies as countries around the world fought the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to the same three months in 2019, revenues were down from April to June 2020 by 6%.

“First and foremost the COVID-19 pandemic has been a human tragedy that has deeply affected the lives of many people around the world including members of our PwC family, their relatives and friends and our heartfelt condolences go out to all those who have lost loved ones,” said Bob Moritz, Chairman of the PwC Network.

“Since the pandemic struck, our priorities have been the safety and wellbeing of our people, protecting and preserving jobs, and helping our clients and the communities in which we live and work deal with the impact of COVID-19. I am proud of what we have done over the last year and the way our people have adapted quickly to a huge amount of change while at the same time continuing to connect, collaborate and innovate for the benefit of our stakeholders across the world.”

“While the last few months have been very challenging for everyone, we have re-focused our business to help our clients manage the immediate impacts of the pandemic and reinvent their businesses for future success. It has never been more important to provide our stakeholders with high quality services. We have also continued our significant investments in technology and upskilling our people to help build a sustainable PwC for the future. Our investment in technology was borne out at the height of the lockdown when 95% of our 284,000 strong workforce were operating out of the office with no interruption to the service we were able to provide”, added Bob Moritz.

Revenues across the world

In the Americas, revenues rose by 3% with a particularly good performance from businesses in the United States and Canada. Revenues in Western Europe were up by 2%, while in Central and Eastern Europe, revenues grew by 4%.

Revenues from the Middle East and Africa rose by 10% with a strong result from the Middle East where revenues were up 14%. Across Asia, revenues grew by 5% while in Australasia and the Pacific, revenues were down 1% reflecting difficult trading conditions throughout FY20.

Regional growth numbers for the full year FY20 mask the impact of COVID-19, with all regions performing as anticipated up to the end of March 2020 and then feeling the full impact of the economic restrictions caused by lockdowns in the months of April, May and June. For the last three months of FY20, in most markets around the world we experienced declines in revenues compared with the same period in FY19 with falls in revenues of up to 30% in certain countries.

Revenues by line of business

Around the world, our businesses are focused on providing high quality services that help our clients respond to an ever more complex and challenging environment and address current and future opportunities. While all our lines of business continued to grow in FY20, each was impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19 and we expect market conditions to be challenging for all our operations as we go into our new financial year.

Assurance: Assurance remains PwC’s largest operation across the world and our brand defining business, serving key stakeholders and helping to build trust in the world’s capital markets. In FY20, revenues from our assurance operations grew by 3% to US$17.6 billion, driven by continued strong demand for our core audit. As management and other stakeholders seek insight into operations, risks and performance, and to increase confidence and resilience in business, we have seen continued strong growth in our broader assurance services, such as internal audit and governance, risk and controls. Demand for our digital risk solutions has also remained strong as companies look for support as they accelerate their transition to the Cloud. With almost 119,000 professionals, PwC is the world’s largest provider of assurance services.

Advisory: PwC Advisory operations grew by 4% to US$14.7 billion. This growth was driven by high demand across the world for advice on strategy, business transformation and value creation in the first nine months of the financial year. Our advisory business differentiates by bringing together consulting, deals and cybersecurity professionals, and our operations benefited from increased teaming with our tax and risk assurance colleagues to provide a more integrated service for our clients that gives the advice and support they need from strategy right through to execution. PwC Advisory now employs over 71,000 people.

Tax & Legal Services: PwC Tax & Legal revenues grew by 2% to US$10.7 billion, with demand for tax reporting and strategy, people and organisation and legal services in the first nine months of the year offset by the impact of the pandemic in the final three months. Guided by our PwC Global Tax Code of Conduct, the over 55,000 professionals in our Tax & Legal Services teams use their knowledge and expertise to help clients – ranging from individuals to the largest global corporations – to navigate complex and challenging environments, address people and legal issues, and comply with their tax and reporting responsibilities.

The year ahead

“While we adapted quickly to many of the new challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought, there is no doubt that the next 12 months and beyond are going to be difficult. Our economists are predicting that the global economy will contract by 5.5 % by the end of 2021 and while different countries will recover at different rates it is clear that the economic downturn will impact us and our clients across the world,” said Bob Moritz.

We are now very clearly focused on a number of priorities.

  • Jobs: Doing the right things to preserve jobs for our people, continue to invest in building the workforce PwC needs for the future, while maintaining the sustainability of our operations. Unfortunately we have seen some job losses in a few markets around the world, particularly in the advisory business, but we are working hard to limit these by containing non-essential costs and investments.
  • Safety and Wellbeing: Where we are returning to office based work, ensuring that our people are safe and comfortable and that we have processes and technologies in place to protect our people in line with relevant safety protocols. And where our people remain working from home, we continue to provide the support that they need to meet the challenges this can bring.
  • Quality: The uncertainty created by the pandemic and its economic impact has placed an even greater focus on the importance of trust in institutions, information and increased transparency. Investing in the enhancement of the quality of all of the services we provide to our stakeholders remains our number one priority, including continuing to invest the US$1 billion we announced last year to drive quality and innovation by making us the most cloud-enabled organisation in the world.
  • Clients: Supporting our clients across the world as they deal with the impact of the pandemic and look to restart operations, repair their balance sheets and rethink their business models.
  • Innovation: Driving and scaling up innovation right across our network and the development of new products and services. As our stakeholders grapple with the challenges of the current economic environment, it is vital that we are able to advise and support them on the best ways to construct sustainable businesses for the future.
  • Upskilling: Upskilling our own people and collaborating with UNICEF in support of Generation Unlimited to help upskill young people across the world has become even more important as the pandemic has accelerated the use of technology and remote working. Despite the economic uncertainty, we continue to invest heavily to help our own people and others better prepare for the new world of work.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Redoubling our efforts to create a PwC culture where everyone feels valued, listened to and has the opportunity to grow and succeed and taking a leading role in the global dialogue on diversity. We have created our first global diversity and inclusion leadership council.

“The pandemic brought many challenges but it also brought the opportunity to reflect and to some degree rethink the future. How we work together, how we use technology, what real estate we need, whether we need to travel so much, how to innovate, how to connect with our stakeholders and how to prioritise our health and wellbeing. These are all issues that we are actively working on as we think about the PwC of tomorrow,” said Bob Moritz.

The PwC Global Annual Review will be published in October 2020 and will cover in more detail how PwC responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, the work that we do with our clients, stakeholders and the communities where we operate, how we supported our people, the results of our quality inspections and how we are embedding a high-quality culture across PwC, and the actions we are taking relating to important issues such as diversity and inclusion.

Deloitte Legal announces new head of Legal Management Consulting

Deloitte Legal has today announced the appointment of Jack Diggle as lead partner for its Legal Management Consulting (LMC) arm.

Joining this month, Jack is responsible for expanding Deloitte Legal’s offerings in this space by developing new capabilities and building on Deloitte Legal’s existing technology, change and operations teams. Jack was previously vice president and global head of consulting at alternative legal services provider Elevate Services. He also headed up legal transformation at Barclays, leading the strategic change agenda for its in-house legal department.

In addition, Craig Conte and Tom Birdseye will be joining to help build out Deloitte Legal’s consultancy offerings to in-house legal teams, contracting functions and law firms. Craig Conte is a globally renowned expert in contract management and consulting using technology and a range of legal managed services. A qualified lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience spanning a number of US law firms and geographies, Craig’s recent roles include being global head of contracts consulting at Elevate and head of the contracts and commercial management service line at Capgemini.

Tom Birdseye is a legal management consultant with over 20 years’ experience in change and transformation. He will focus on expanding Deloitte Legal’s work with both in-house legal teams and law firms seeking to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. Most recently he was head of EMEA consulting at Elevate and prior to this he was global head of change management at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The appointments follow the firm’s hiring of Emily Foges to head up its Legal Managed Services business, announced earlier in the summer.

Michael Castle, UK managing partner at Deloitte Legal, commented: “Today’s world requires a new approach to the delivery of legal services. Now more than ever, legal departments are having to address the challenge of dealing with increasing complexity and demand with the same or fewer resources.

“Jack, Craig and Tom have a wealth of experience between them which will help these departments and contracting teams rethink their operating models, achieve greater efficiencies and increase the value they deliver back to the business. They are recognised market leaders and these appointments will ensure that Deloitte Legal continues its commitment to provide new and integrated solutions for clients.”

Jack Diggle, lead partner for legal management consulting at Deloitte Legal, added: “General Counsel and legal departments are facing multiple challenges: a heightened regulatory environment, increased workloads and the acceleration of new digitally-enabled, agile operating models.

“By focusing on people, processes and technology, it is possible for legal and contracts teams to work in a smarter way to meet the challenges that lie ahead. I am looking forward to building on Deloitte Legal’s experience in this space and helping our clients’ legal operations.”

Globally, Deloitte Legal is made up of more than 2,500 professionals operating in more than 80 countries.

Deloitte Legal has more than 250 people in the UK, delivering technology-enabled legal solutions in areas such as employment, litigation, corporate and commercial and immigration, including more than 85 client-facing practicing lawyers.

Gerry Pecht elected as Global Chief Executive

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright announced today the election of Gerry Pecht as Global Chief Executive of Norton Rose Fulbright, effective January 1, 2021. Gerry Pecht will succeed Peter Martyr, who has led Norton Rose and then Norton Rose Fulbright since 2002.

Currently Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Head of Dispute Resolution and Litigation, Gerry Pecht commented “I am proud and honoured to be elected Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Chief Executive. Over the past ten years, we have built a global platform with exceptional lawyers serving valued clients in virtually every major business centre. The quality of our people around the world enables us to collaborate on a truly global level. I look forward to building on our platform and taking our firm to the next phase of its evolution. As Global Chief Executive, I will promote our firm’s unity and strategic alignment, emphasise our client service focus, utilise our technological and innovative advantages and optimise our financial performance.”

“I will also place a priority on social engagement. Lawyers play a special role in society, and our firm must use its influence to fight racism, sexism and social injustice. Diversity and inclusion is a key focus for our firm and a cause I will continue to champion.”

“On behalf of the global business, I would like to thank Peter Martyr for the outstanding contribution he has made to the firm as its first Global Chief Executive, and I am committed to continuing to build on the foundations laid by Peter.”

Peter Martyr, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Chief Executive, added “Gerry is a highly experienced business leader, with whom I have worked closely over the past eight years. Gerry is a US lawyer with a global personal and professional background, making him well equipped to drive the firm’s global business transformation strategy. The firm is in good hands, and I am certain it will flourish under his leadership.”

Gerry has been a member of the firm’s Global Executive Committee since 2013 and has served as Global Head of Dispute Resolution and Litigation since 2014. He joined our Houston office in 1980 and was named a partner in 1987.

Regularly representing publicly traded companies located both within and outside the US and their officers and directors, Gerry built a commercial litigation practice focused on securities litigation and enforcement, energy litigation, internal corporate investigations, international litigation and arbitration. Both Chambers USA and The Legal 500 United States have recognised Gerry for his work in securities litigation.

Eversheds Sutherland tax practice expands SALT team

Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce the addition of Breen M. Schiller and Nikki E. Dobay to the firm’s Tax Practice Group as State and Local Tax (SALT) partners. Ms. Schiller will join the firm’s Chicago office and Ms. Dobay will join the firm’s Sacramento office in the next few weeks.

Ms. Schiller is joining the firm from Horwood Marcus & Berk in Chicago, where she had been the Chair of the SALT practice group. In addition to Ms. Schiller’s Illinois tax experience, she has consulted with clients on state and local tax issues across the country, including for several of Eversheds Sutherland’s existing clients. She regularly consults and represents some of the largest taxpayers in the US.

Ms. Dobay is joining from the Council On State Taxation (COST), where she had been senior tax counsel. Ms. Dobay joins former COST lawyers Jeff Friedman and Todd Lard, both of whom represented COST’s members on state tax matters before joining Eversheds Sutherland. She has extensive Oregon tax experience, including with the state’s newly imposed Commercial Activity Tax. Ms. Dobay also has represented clients on state tax policy matters across the US. Her legislative and regulatory experience will add to the firm’s considerable state tax policy practice.

“I am excited to welcome Breen and Nikki to the firm and our Tax Practice,” said Mark D. Wasserman, Co-CEO of Eversheds Sutherland. “Their outstanding reputations and experience will further elevate our SALT services and expand our capabilities in important geographic regions for our clients. We plan to continue to grow our tax practice and the firm overall through internal promotions and additional strategic lateral hiring.”

“We are fortunate to attract Breen and Nikki to our Tax Practice,” said Jeffrey A. Friedman, Partner and Chair of the firm’s Tax Practice Group. “Adding Breen and Nikki also reflects the firm’s focus on growing our Midwest and West Coast tax presence. Their skill sets and unique backgrounds are a natural fit for our group.”

Eversheds Sutherland’s Tax Practice is comprised of more than 100 attorneys representing many of the world’s largest corporations—including more than 35 of the Fortune 100—in every industry sector and in virtually every area of tax law, on the federal, international, state and local levels. By virtue of the size of its tax practice and its varied client base, Eversheds Sutherland is active in every area of taxation—from planning the most complex corporate tax transactions to representing taxpayers in administrative and judicial tax controversies.

Duane Morris partner named Washington, DC trailblazer

Duane Morris partner Michael E. Barnicle has been named a Washington, DC trailblazer by National Law Journal. The inaugural list honours individuals who are “truly agents of change.”

In law school, Michael Barnicle read about U.S. military veterans who were not receiving the benefits they deserved. He was so upset that he started a free legal clinic to help veterans obtain what the government owned them. But that wasn’t enough. “I said, ‘well, if I’m going to walk the walk and talk the talk. …'” He enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he became a paratrooper and served in Iraq. The experience informs his private practice, in which he facilitates government contracts – including defence contracts – for his clients. “I’m a bridge a lot of times,” spanning the worlds of business and the military. “I speak (both) languages and that really facilitates difficult things.”

Barnicle entered the Army through a pilot program that provided legal advisers to military commanders in areas of conflict. “The more difficult the place in the world, the more difficult the legal problems.” In the four years since he left the Army, Barnicle became a partner at Duane Morris and helped create the firm’s government contracts and international trade practice group. His client list includes many defence contractors, and at least half his practice involves international markets. Although attached to the firm’s Washington office, Barnicle works mostly out of Chicago. “Federal government contracts don’t have geographic limitations.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Barnicle has spent much of his time “helping suppliers think creatively to work with both the federal and state governments” to maintain the supply chain for medicines and medical equipment. When the pandemic subsides, he will resume working with technology companies that he thinks are key to supporting military operations. “They’re kind of the new Lockheeds and the new Raytheons and the new large defence industrial base contractors. It’s really important that they understand how to work with the government.”

Ignacio Pera Rivas promoted to partner at Dentons Larrain Rencoret

We are pleased to announce that Ignacio Pera Rivas has been promoted to partner of Dentons Larraín Rencoret to lead the firm’s Fintech and Venture Capital practice. Ignacio has over 8 years’ professional experience, mainly in corporate, M&A and finance matters in the mining, technology, financial and real estate industries.

“We are delighted to appoint Ignacio as partner. He joined as a junior associate with Larrain Rencoret & Urzúa in 2012 and has been an outstanding member of the team, prized for for his professionalism, and above all, for his commitment to our clients and to the development of the firm, in particular in the Fintech area. Now, as a partner of our firm, Ignacio will co-lead our Fintech practice together with partner Karlfranz Koehler, a practice he has been instrumental in developing since his return from the USA where he completed his LLM degree at the University of California”, said Dentons Larraín Rencoret Managing Partner, José Manuel Larraín.

Ignacio’s experience includes negotiating and drafting complex principal agreements and ancillary documents in a wide range of transactions, representing both the buy and sell side and providing general counsel on a broad range of commercial matters, including business formation and structuring, distribution agreements, purchase and supply agreements, and loan agreements

Additionally, he regularly advises local and foreign companies in venture capital transactions and provides legal assistance in the development of start-up projects particularly for Fintech, IT Architecture and Machine Learning, and AI companies, and analysis of national and local laws and rules applicable to new technologies and data protection.

Ignacio holds a law degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (2010) and a Master of Laws degree from the University of California (2016).