Legal Business Blogs

Double digit growth for Macfarlanes as firm disputes ‘new normal’

A depressed transactional market in the UK has had little effect on the financial performance of Macfarlanes, with the high-performing City firm posting a 12% increase in revenues for 2012/2013 from £102.2m to £114.16m.

The firm, which recorded an 8% rise in revenues in 2011/2012, continues to be one of the most profitable firms in the City, with net income up 16% from £42.44m to £49.25m, equating to a PEP of £985,000 – an increase of 9% on 2011/2012. Profit per lawyer at the firm stands at £158,000 – a rise of 7%.

Commenting on the latest results, senior partner Charles Martin said: ‘Good results are the end result of focusing on client service and adapting to change – seizing opportunities.

‘We like to be efficient in the way the firm is run and offer value for money to our clients. Tough market conditions are here to stay. There is no “new normal”, just a need to be able to find opportunities and seize them.’

With 312 lawyers Macfarlanes is one of the smallest of the top 35 UK firms, with 50 equity partners and 21 non-equity partners. Corporate remains its largest practice by a long margin, accounting for around 30 partners, compared with 13 in finance, 10 in dispute resolution, nine in real estate and the remainder spread among the firm’s other practice areas.

The conservative firm is known for its organic approach to growth although recent years have seen it soften that position and this year it hired Shearman & Sterling real estate partner Clare Breeze and Akin Gump investment funds partner Simon Thomas. The firm has made concerted efforts to boost its presence in the hedge funds market and in 2012 took on all nine City employees of hedge fund firm D Harris Co International.