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Continuing apace: Stevens & Bolton posts eighth year of growth amid 9% revenue rise

South East heavyweight Stevens & Bolton has completed its eighth successive year of growth, posting a 9% turnover increase to £28.3m.

The 2018/19 results came off the back of last year’s 9% revenue hike to £26.8m and continued a pacey run for the Guildford-headquartered firm.

Profit per equity partner increase by 10% from £411,000 to £452,000, a new high for the firm which saw a 25% increase the previous year. In addition, profit per lawyer reached £54,000 while revenue per lawyer hit £215,000, a 19% and 9% increase over the past three years respectively. Contributing to the performance were clients including BOC / Linde, TGI Fridays, Kia Motors, Samsung, Royal Philips and Allianz Insurance.

Meanwhile, corporate highlights included acting for Cancom SE on its acquisition of OCSL and Royal Phillips on its acquisition of Remote Diagnostic Technologies. While M&A was flatter in 2018/19 than in previous years, the team has seen a 33% increase in the last three years.

Senior partner Richard Baxter told Legal Business: ‘There’s a strong focus on the financials but it’s not all about financials, there are lots of other considerations to make up the overall success that I think we’ve been enjoying in recent years.’

Other factors included reducing the lock-up time to 86 days, a 13% reduction, and an increase in referral work with City firms, which the firm calls Surrey shoring.

Baxter added ‘We’ve seen quite a growth in that area, working with both US firms in the City, particularly where those firms may not have all round capabilities, but also with a number of Magic Circle firms. That’s been a real growth area for us.’

The firm promoted new partners in three key areas of growth: Andrew Dodds (finance), James Hardaker (tax and estate planning) and James Lister (contentious trust litigation). The firm has 230 people in total, 42 of which are partners.

The firm increased revenue in dispute resolution by 25%, winning key mandates on cases including Gama Aviation in its High Court claim against Dustin Dryden, its former owner and director.

Finance and restructuring has seen investment and 19% revenue growth, with the 2016 hire of David Steinberg, previously joint head of finance at Clifford Chance, contributing significantly to the uptick. International work was up 15%.