DWF has posted mixed results this financial year, with global top-line revenue down 2% to £187.1m from £191m, while profit per equity partner (PEP) is up 2% to £331,000 from £325,000. This is a better performance than last year when the firm’s PEP dropped 16%.
Major client wins and panel appointments for the firm this year include Serco, Pearson, and Tate Chemicals Europe. According to DWF’s managing partner and chief executive Andrew Leaitherland, the firm’s corporate practice has performed well, as has national real estate.
Speaking to Legal Business Leaitherland (pictured) added: ‘The insurance sector remains a focus for us, and we continue to work with the major insurers such as RSA, Aviva and Chubb; we’ve won new clients through our merger activity and we’re increasingly focusing on delivering higher value services to those insurers.’
The firm has also invested in new offices in Brussels, as well as growing its Dubai and Dublin operations. On 1 January this year, DWF merged with the former German commercial law firm BridgeHouseLaw giving the firm offices in Munich and Cologne. The firm also merged with niche insurance practice Fox Hartley on 1 May 2016 to enhance the firm’s Lloyds market expertise and help secure new domestic and international insurer clients
In December, DWF opened in Brussels to provide greater competition and regulatory support to its major UK and international clients, particularly in the central and local government; retail, food and hospitality; transport; and energy & industrials sectors.
Additionally, in Dublin the firm recruited Ross Little from William Fry as executive partner with responsibility for growing DWF’s Dublin operations and capitalising on growing client demand following Brexit. DWF is looking to further increase its focus on Ireland and is exploring commercial services growth opportunities across all sectors, including financial services, insurance and retail, food & hospitality and further senior appointments are in the pipeline.
In a statement Leaitherland said: ‘DWF is in a good position post-Brexit because we’re still at the very early stages of our international growth plans meaning that we’re not needing to retrench as some other firms are, and we’re able to learn from others in determining the best route for growth. Changing markets are presenting us with opportunities which didn’t exist before, such as the merger with BridgehouseLaw which simply wasn’t on the cards 12 months prior because they weren’t at that stage where they were looking for a merger partner.’
Earlier today (12 July), Gowling WLG posted essentially flat revenue and PEP for its UK arm, with turnover up 2% from £180.4m to £184.7m, while PEP remained static at £383,000.