For White & Case, 2017 was a year of growth and progress. We welcomed 72 new partners around the world, grew our lawyer numbers in line with our strategy, and saw global revenues climb by more than 11 percent.
We also reflected on our past, with the publication of a history of the Firm: White & Case: The First 100 Years & Beyond. The book describes how White & Case grew from a small New York office to a leading global law firm serving clients worldwide.
With more than 2,000 lawyers of 94 nationalities speaking 90 languages working in our offices around the world, our commitment to multiculturalism and diversity is as strong as ever. For the fourth year in a row, The American Lawyer ranked us first in its Diversity Scorecard.
We embrace our responsibility as a global citizen and a signatory of the UN Global Compact, and this guides our work resolving large-scale global issues as well as local pro bono matters. We are particularly proud to support the establishment of Bhutan’s first law school, which opened in 2017.
As we reach the halfway point in our 2020 strategy, we have made great progress in all three pillars—profitable growth, people engagement and client relationships. Our people and the way we work together make all the difference in how we serve our clients, within and across borders.
We will stay close to the issues affecting our clients and our people as we navigate shifting global dynamics. In an uncertain environment, our success increasingly depends on the strength of our relationships with each other.
GDPR will strengthen data protection for individuals and simplify the regulatory environment by establishing a unified standard across the EU. But it poses significant challenges for companies.
Data and insights on key
issues that are shaping
global business dynamics.
To ride the wave of AI, financial services companies will have to navigate evolving standards, regulations and risk dynamics—particularly regarding data rights, algorithmic accountability and cybersecurity.
from our year
A selection of our work
from 2017, cutting across
practices and sectors,
including pro bono.
In mid-2015, White & Case launched a five-year strategy charting a route for the Firm’s growth. The strategy is designed to make White & Case stronger and better positioned for the future; a global elite law firm that is top of mind for global clients for their most complex, cross-border legal work; and an employer of choice for top talent.
Since then, we have been taking significant steps to deliver on that strategy by focusing on targeted, profitable growth, particularly in the United States and London, creating a more engaged firm and strengthening our global client relationships. The successes highlighted here illustrate how, midway to 2020, we are on track to reaching our goals.
- The Firm’s revenue grew from US$1.523 billion in 2015 to a record US$1.80 billion in 2017, an 18.2% increase over two years. In 2017 alone, revenues grew by nearly 11%.
- The number of lawyers in our New York office increased by more than 21% over the past two years, while revenue in our London office grew by 13% in the past year.
- We created an employee value proposition for our people centered on how working at White & Case opens doors to experiences and relationships worldwide that help them build their careers.
In 2017, we moved to a state-of-the-art office in New York that fosters interaction and collaboration among our people and between the Firm and our clients, and is providing a blueprint for our other offices worldwide.
White & Case’s five-year 2020 strategy sets ambitious goals for the Firm. To achieve them, it’s essential everyone in the Firm understands the strategy, progress being made and the role they have to play. This can be a challenge in a global, multi-generational law firm.
To meet that challenge, the Firm focused on internal communications in 2017, offering partners and employees a menu of options for engaging with the Firm’s leadership, including face-to-face communication and digital and video channels. They all link back to the Firm’s 2020 strategy and support the Firm’s efforts to achieve those strategic goals.
The range of communications include:
- The Reporter Daily: Operating like a small online newspaper, The Reporter Daily showcases a minimum of three new stories covering the Firm and its people every day.
- The Reporter Quarterly: A digital publication providing insight into business and strategy.
- Global Strategy Forum: Led by Chairman Hugh Verrier, this is a global meeting for the entire Firm by video conference in real time. The first meeting, held in May, was very successful, with every office connected.
- Video updates: To supplement the Strategy Forum, a quarterly video update, each time from a different member of the Executive Committee, was introduced.
The new internal communications approach is having a direct impact on the way our people engage with and understand our 2020 strategy. The aim is to enhance our collaboration with one another and the service we provide to our clients.
Hosted by our Bratislava office, the World Cup was held in Vienna and featured football and volleyball events. Team Berlin won the football final, while Team Bratislava was victorious in the volleyball final.