DWF has added 18% to its top line as the thrusting national operator gears up to become the largest UK law firm float yet.
Revenue at the top 25 firm for the year to 30 April, announced today (13 September), was £236m, up from £199m last year. The firm also said profit per equity partner (PEP) increased, without specifying a figure, but this year’s LB100 estimates it rose 9% to £327,000.
DWF announced in June it was eyeing up an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange. Eyebrows were raised at the reported £1bn price tag, with a more realistic valuation seen to be in the £400m-£600m range.
Chief executive Andrew Leaitherland (pictured) commented: ‘We are already positioned positively for the next phase of our development, but we believe an IPO would be one of the options that would allow us to achieve our strategic objectives, notably by further increasing our capacity to invest in IT and Connected Services, while also enhancing our ability to attract and retain the best talent.’
DWF’s recent history has been marked by a spate of office openings in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, as well as the acquisitions of legal cost business NeoLaw last June and claims management firm Triton Global. It also brought in the man who spearheaded DLA Piper’s meteoric rise from regional upstart to global giant, Sir Nigel Knowles, as chair in September last year.
More recently, it hired the brains behind Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Manchester services hub, Anup Kollanethu, to head a new managed services role. Former DLA chief information officer (CIO) Daniel Pollick also came in to a newly created CIO role.
DWF said it had recruited more than 35 partners, although overall partner numbers have only increased from 279 to 289. The firm also formally launched its Connected Services arm, a division of independent businesses which work alongside the firm’s legal teams to help clients manage risk, reputation, cost, time and resources.
‘This has been another very strong year for DWF, with growth across all of our businesses,’ Leaitherland said. ‘We have prioritised making significant investments which will drive the long-term success of our business and enable us to transform the way legal services are delivered.’