Penningtons Manches Cooper produced a strong showing in 2019/20, the firm’s latest financial results show, with revenue and profits both enjoying an uptick following last summer’s tie up between legacy firms Penningtons Manches and Thomas Cooper.
Revenues rose 17% to £93m over the last financial year, up from £79.5m last year, while overall profits soared to £28m after a disappointing 15% drop last year to £14.5m. Disputes has become the main engine room at the firm, producing more than 50% of Penningtons’ material output following a focus on growing its contentious practices.
‘For a number of years our direction of travel has been towards contentious work and we’ve now reached the point where it makes up more than fifty per cent of our fee income,’ commented CEO David Raine (pictured). ‘We expect that proportion will continue to increase – not only from our increasingly sought after commercial dispute resolution and arbitration practices but also from our incredibly busy family, employment, clinical negligence and contentious trust teams.’
Penningtons also saw its real estate practice up revenue 17%, while its private wealth group hiked 11%. Meanwhile, the firm’s business services division upped revenue an impressive 20%, which covers the firm’s commercial, corporate, employment and litigation practices. The results at Penningtons continue what has been a surprisingly resilient performance from the LB100 so far.
However, the firm has been force to adopt measures as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, having suspended partner distributions and furloughing both non fee-earners and fee-earners. Added Raine: ‘Like every firm, we’ve had to revisit and revise our plans and proceed with a great deal more caution and prudence than anticipated. So far, we have performed better than expected but, clearly, complacency isn’t an option in the current environment. There are still many unknowns and all decisions require an element of crystal ball gazing.’