It appears today (19 July) is a good day to try and bury bad news. With Dundas & Wilson earlier revealing significant falls in revenues and profit, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has confirmed suspicions that it has had a bad year: revenues are down 5% from £246m to £233m.
The firm has yet to announce profit figures but PEP is widely expected to be down substantially from last year’s figure of £660,000.
This performance in revenue contrasts with the 11% increase that BLP posted in turnover in last year’s LB100, against a 5% fall in PEP. The reduction in turnover this year has inevitably had a dramatic effect on profitability.
Underperformance and dwindling profits has led BLP to attempt to plug the leak by reducing its wage bill by 15% in recent months, recently cutting 102 jobs in May, with 58 legal staff losing their jobs along with 44 secretarial staff .
Internationally the firm has been expansive, opening in Hong Kong, Berlin, Frankfurt and Dubai since 2011 and recently winning approval to open an office in Beijing.
In April the firm revealed it had held back bonus payments to senior equity partners in March, which managing partner Neville Eisenberg said the firm expected to repay in June.
BLP has now stalled following a dramatic rise up the mid-tier ranks in the run-up to the global financial crisis. It looks as if Eisenberg’s latest term as managing partner could be his most challenging yet.