South East heavyweight Stevens & Bolton has revealed a 13% hike in revenue for 2014/15 to a record high of £22.3m, putting it on the cusp of the Legal Business 100, while profits per equity partner continue to outgun many larger firms, passing £400,000.
The Guildford firm, which has been shortlisted as National/Regional Firm of the Year at the Legal Business Awards for the last four years and won the category in 2009, has posted revenue growth for five consecutive years, this year growing from £19.8m to £22.3m. PEP has broken through the £400,000 barrier with an increase just shy of 10%, from £375,000 in 2013/14 to £410,000.
The results follow a strong showing last year when the firm reported a 10% growth in turnover and an 18% increase in PEP. Since 2010, when the firm posted revenues of £15.2m, it has grown turnover by 47%, building on a successful model that hinges on offering close to London levels of pay to attract experienced partners from City firms as well as local competitors, in turn winning strong instructions from significant clients wanting London service levels but not London fees.
Managing partner Ken Woffenden (pictured), himself a former corporate partner at Simmons & Simmons said: ‘While we have seen growth right across the firm, we have seen particularly strong increases in corporate/M&A, IT/IP and litigation this year. On the transactional side, over the last 12 months we’ve handled deals with an aggregate value in excess of £1.5bn. We have also enjoyed some major client wins, including our appointment to BP’s legal panel for employment work, Nintendo, Tommy Hilfiger and the AA.’
Stevens & Bolton was one of nine firms selected by BP last summer to provide niche legal services in an agreement that will run until 2017.
The firm’s impressive increase in profitability has not come at the expense of a reduction in headcount, with it now totaling 36 partners and nearly 200 staff, representing a 14% growth in headcount over the last two years.