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Financials 2015/16: Travers bucks the market to post double digit turnover growth

Travers Smith has posted its seventh year of revenue growth, boosting turnover to £120m, up 13% on the previous year.

The private equity and finance specialists also scored record profits per equity partner (PEP), breaking the £1m barrier for the first time. PEP was up 7% on the previous year to £1.015m from £935,000 in 2014/15. The growth boost comes after the firm saw turnover break the £100m mark in 2014/15, when revenue increased 9%.

Travers managing partner David Patient said: ‘Despite the uncertainty caused by the Referendum this has been another excellent year for the firm.’

Patient (pictured) said the EU referendum result and the process of Brexit were likely to have a significant effect on clients: ‘This year will, undoubtedly, present a number of challenges for our clients, this firm, and the profession as a whole, as the implications of the decision to leave the EU unfold.’

Senior partner Chris Hale added: ‘The huge uncertainty caused by the result of the Referendum will result in a difficult environment for transactional work for a while.’

Despite a relatively slow year for M&A, in May Travers acted on the £1bn Argus Media deal which saw General Atlantic take a majority stake in the company, with Hale leading the advice for Argus’s management. The firm also advised Micro Focus on its $540m acquisition of US company Serena Software, with corporate head Spencer Summerfield leading for Travers.

The continued rise in turnover for Travers has not been reflected across the market and other leading London firms. The downturn in transactions in the lead up to the referendum and a slump in property deals have affected some UK firms.

Peer firm Macfarlanes saw growth stall after a highly successful 2014/15 in results reported earlier this week. The City firm’s turnover was up less than 1% after growing 17% the previous year. PEP was down 8.8%, having jumped 30% the year before. Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin told Legal Business they had no complaints about transactional activity at the firm, but added: ‘We said in our results last year there would be a spike.’

Both Travers and Macfarlanes recently announced changes to their associate pay schemes, with Travers increasing newly qualified pay to £71,500, higher than that of Magic Circle firm Slaughter and May.