Profit per equity partner (PEP) increased by 4% to £653,000, a significant slowdown from the 14% growth registered last year, however the increase comes despite the addition of six equity partners at the firm since July 2017.
The results point to a return to a more pedestrian pace for Pinsents, which last year saw revenues break the £400m barrier after a subdued 2015/16 performance. However, the five-year picture remains strong: turnover has increased by 40% over that period, while profitability has grown by 60%, with the firm being one of the most consistent high-performers in the Legal Business 100 in recent years.
Around 90% of revenue generated came from clients operating in the firm’s core sectors, with advanced manufacturing and technology, financial services, infrastructure and energy and real estate the primary drivers of growth. Last year the firm estimated 85% of turnover came from the same sectors.
Speaking to Legal Business, managing partner John Cleland said: ‘This year we entered the year knowing it would be unpredictable, but in the current economy we continued with our level of investment with office launches and 30 laterals. Continued growth is an excellent result.’
Cleland believes the firm will now look towards consolidating after an active 12 months, with the firm expanding in Dublin, Madrid and Australia as well as making up 23 partners in March as part of a bolstered promotion round.
‘We’re always looking at opportunities but probably we will look at consolidating and making a return on our existing investments.’
Cleland highlighted Germany as a particularly lucrative area for the firm, while recent mandates have included acting on Mainstream Renewable Power’s sale to EDF of the £2bn Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scotland, as well as a role advising Yorkshire-based polymer technology company Fenner on a cash offer by Michelin.
In March, the firm sold one of its earliest New Law investments, Cerico, to Dow Jones for an undisclosed sum.
For more on Pinsents, read ‘Our values are imperatives’: Pinsents chief on diversity, success and being bolder (£)