Having endured a difficult time in recent months with the exodus of multiple partners from its London office, US firm Edwards Wildman has also seen financial challenges in the UK as evidenced by its latest LLP accounts which recorded a 10% drop in turnover to £25.1m from £27.8m, alongside a 21% drop in profit available for discretionary division among members to £7.6m.
According to the firm’s latest UK limited liability partnership accounts filed on Companies House and dated to December 31 2013, operating profit decreased 21% to £8m from £10.1m. The amount due on the firm’s bank loan within one year dropped from £243,899 to £142,857, but net debt rose dramatically to £323,827 from £54,952. The firm’s Hong Kong arm also owes the UK LLP an estimated £2.8m which rose from last year’s £2.2m.
Staff costs rose by 4% to £8.2m from £7.9m while the monthly average number of fee earners and support staff dipped modestly from 128 to 120. The firm also operates a defined benefit scheme, a pension arrangement to a former partner, and a retirement healthcare benefits scheme which collectively totals nearly £4.5m, a drop on the 2012 figure of £6m.
Located at Old Broad Street, Edwards Wildman saw a quintet of corporate partners resign over the summer, including venture capital group co-chair Shawn Atkinson who is headed for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; transactions partner Stuart Blythe, who is joining CMS Cameron McKenna; London private equity and venture capital head David Ramm who is moving to Morgan Lewis & Bockius; Niall McAlister who has departed for Olswang; and capital markets partner Eero Rautalahti whose next move is unknown.
It has also been said that fellow US firm Cooley is set to take on a significant number of partners from Edwards Wildman as the former prepares to establish a presence in London this autumn, while Arnold & Porter was also said to be in talks with commercial litigation partners.