Wragge & Co’s last limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts before it merged with Lawrence Graham show that profit before remuneration grew by 8%, climbing from £39.5m to £42.6m as the number of staff employed fell by 106.
Turnover at the firm grew by 0.5%, from £120.5m to £121.2m, but profitability was supported by a drop in headcount by more than 100 employees (a combination of 28 legal staff and 78 support staff) with overall staff costs falling by 7%, from £47.4m in the same period last year to £44.4m for 2014. The firm’s cash in hand and at bank also fell, dropping by more than half from £25.5m in 2013 to £12m in 2014.
The average profits per equity partner increased by nearly 14.2% from £339,000 to £386,000, while the profit share paid to the highest member went up by nearly 73% from £560,000 to £967,000.
In July 2014, the firm merged with Lawrence Graham and unveiled the results of its legacy firms, creating a firm with £172m in revenues and £58.7m in profit, operating at a margin of 34%.
Lawrence Graham achieved a significant reversal of a double digit fall in profits in 2012/13 by posting a net profit of £17.2m. Its PEP subsequently increased by 60% on the £260,000 posted in 2012/13 to £419,000.
The reversal in fortunes was in part explained by the fall in profits experienced by Lawrence Graham in 2012/13, which the firm attributed to significant property costs from its More London HQ. This expense was addressed in the last financial year, with Bond Dickinson subletting 20,000 sq ft of space.