Legal Business Blogs

A tale of two law firms: Charles Russell sees PEP grow 20% as Trowers records dip in profits

Top 50 Legal Business 100 firms Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS) and Trowers & Hamlins have posted mixed results this reporting season, with the former recording a 21% rise in profit per equity partner (PEP) and the latter seeing partner profits fall 7%.

In its first full set of results post-merger, CRS has increased its revenue from £134.5m to £140m, up 4% from 2014/15. Net profit at the firm was up from £25.9m to £31.8m while PEP rose to £393,000 from £325,000, an increase of more than 20%.

The private wealth-focused firm said it had made progress integrating the business following the 2014 merger of Speechly Bircham and Charles Russell, completing its consolidation of all London-based staff at its Fleet Place offices. The firm also expanded its Geneva office with during the year, with three lateral hires which could offer both English and Swiss law advice.

CRS managing partner James Carter said: ‘Whilst the result of the referendum will have an impact on business confidence and the legal market, we are fortunate to have a very broad-based practice which means that we continue to be well positioned to unlock opportunities and benefits for our clients and for our people.’

While Trowers & Hamlins posted total revenues of £85.6m from £79.4m the year before, an 8% increase, PEP at the firm has fallen by 8% to £310,000 from £336,000 the year prior.

The firm’s topline benefited from a combination with Devon-based Stones Solicitors, which it announced in September 2015. Stone Solicitors had an annual turnover of about £5m and had a practice which covered litigation private wealth, real estate, company commercial, and employment.

Trowers & Hamlins has been investing in its UK regional presence in recent years, launching a new Birmingham office in 2011, taking on more office space in Exeter in 2014 and expanding its Manchester office earlier this year.