Top 25-firm Irwin Mitchell has today (26 July) posted strong revenue and profit growth for the last financial year, while Lawrence Graham (LG) has posted declining turnover for the third year running.
In its latest results for 2012/13, Irwin Mitchell’s turnover was up by 9% to £200.2m from £183.7m for 2011/12. Profit for the group as a whole is £19.1m, up by 3.1% on the previous financial year. The firm’s profit per equity partner is £619,000 – a 9% increase from last year’s £569,000.
‘2012/13 was another very strong year for our group,’ said group chief executive John Pickering. This is a significant milestone for us but the story does not stop here.
‘This latest set of results shows that we are a strong, well-managed business and on that basis, we are confident of delivering further growth in the coming financial year and beyond. The financial year 2012/13 was the year in which Irwin Mitchell became the first multiple-licensed ABS in the UK and all parts of our business are performing well. We are in a good position to grow significantly and to take advantage of the right opportunities when they come along.’
In contrast LG’s turnover was £51.8m, down 8% on 2011/12’s £56m, which itself was a 5% drop on the year before. PEP has fallen by 14%, from £304,000 to £260,000.
Managing partner Hugh Maule said: ‘The headline figures for 2012/13 reflect what was another challenging year. In a number of areas, however, we performed particularly well and are optimistic for the year ahead.
‘Work from overseas clients again accounts for around 40% of our business. We hope to increase this still further going forward.’
Profitability has also consistently fallen since the financial crisis took hold, with net income tumbling dramatically by 45% last year. At the time the firm laid much of the blame on increased property costs trickling through from its move to its More London offices in 2007. Recently the firm has moved to reduce those costs, subletting 20,000 sq ft of space to recently merged national firm Bond Dickinson.
‘Our London property costs again weighed heavily on profits but this issue has now been addressed. All of our surplus office space has been sub-let (to Bond Dickinson and an international property developer). We therefore expect profitability to increase significantly this current financial year,’ said Maule.
LG revenues may have been on a roller-coaster of highs and lows since 2007 but in the last three years its turnover has steadily declined. Overall, turnover has fallen by 23% since 2008.
In June last year, LG and Field Fisher Waterhouse mutually shelved plans to create a £150m practice, with each firm citing different reasons for the split, including LG’s comparatively lower PEP.