Legal Business Blogs

Financial results 2013: DAC Beachcroft, Stephenson Harwood, Brodies and Morgan Cole reveal their numbers

Top 30 UK firms DAC Beachcroft and Stephenson Harwood today (15 July) unveiled growth in revenue for 2012/13, while Brodies last week revealed a third consecutive increase in turnover and profit and Morgan Cole has seen its profits drop significantly.

DAC Beachcroft’s revenues have increased by 14.2% to £188.2m, up from £164.8m in 2011/12. Net profit at the 1079-lawyer firm also increased by 42% to £31.8m at the end of the last financial year, up from £22.4m the previous year. However, profit per equity partner (PEP) is down by 11.5% from £321,000 in 2011/12 to £284,000.

The firm merged with Davies Arnold Cooper in October 2011 and in January this year became the first European firm to launch in Chile by acquiring two local firms. Managing partner Paul Murray said: ‘Year-on-year comparisons continue to be distorted by the merger mid-year in 2011/12 but these numbers will provide a baseline for next year. Overall the results are acceptable in what continues to be a challenging and changing economic environment.’

Also unveiling its revenue figure today is UK top 30 firm Stephenson Harwood, which announced a more modest growth of 2% to £112.3m at the end of the 2012/13 financial year, up on last year’s figure of £110.2m.

The firm has attributed the growth to ‘some major investments including the recruitment of 12 new partners and the opening of offices in Dubai and Beijing’, chief executive Sharon White (pictured) said.

The firm now has nine offices across Europe, Asia and the Middle East and has acted on a number of high profile international deals over the course of the year, including for Indonesia-based Lion Air for the world’s largest commercial aircraft order, comprising 234 Airbus – A320 and A321 aircraft, with a price list value of $24bn. The firm also advised Hitachi on its bid to provide the rolling stock for London’s Crossrail, with a total contract value of around £1.8bn.

Meanwhile, Scottish firm Brodies has seen its revenue grow for the third year in a row, posting a 7.5% increase to £46m, up on £42.8m last financial year. The firm has credited the successful implementation of the second year of its three-year strategic plan, following on from a revenue increase of 16% in 2011/12, up from £36.9m.

Over the course of the year, the firm, which has four offices across Scotland and in Brussels, has continued to expand its Aberdeen office, which has grown from 34 to 46 staff, including 28 lawyers, as a result of three partner hires and six new lawyers.

Legal Business Management Partner of the Year, Bill Drummond, said: ‘The targeted investment that is being made across the business – in people and infrastructure – positions us well to benefit from stabilising market conditions and our strong balance sheet means that Brodies’ management team can continue to seek suitable investment opportunities to further enhance the service we deliver to our clients.’

Elsewhere, national top 75 firm Morgan Cole has posted a drop in revenue and profit, posting a turnover of £35.4m, down 3.3% from last year’s £36.6m, while PEP also dropped 34.7% to £162,000 from £248,000 in 2011/12.

Managing partner Elizabeth Carr said the firm has spent the past year considering its future business strategy ‘to ensure the right structure to meet the needs of the evolving market’ and subsequent changes to that structure and investment in the firm’s property portfolio means the reduction in revenue and profit are ‘entirely as expected.’

Highlights of the year include growth of £1.7m in the public sector and appointments on the Government Procurement and NHSLA panels.

Carr added: ‘Consolidation, competition and pricing pressures will continue through 2013-14 but we are confident that exemplary service to clients, focused sector marketing and an open approach to merger and acquisition opportunities will result in new clients and increased revenue in 2013-14 and beyond.’