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Financials 2017: Mixed results for BLP as revenues up 7% while PEP falls

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has posted mixed financial results for the year, with revenues up 7% while profit per equity partner (PEP) fell 8%.

As a result of the percentage rise, BLP’s revenue now stands at £272m although the firm’s PEP dropped from £683,000 to £630,000.

The firm added to its partner ranks considerably this year with partner hires and its highest ever promotion round, while at the same time investing in its alternative businesses.

BLP managing partner Lisa Mayhew (pictured) said that the firm’s revenue was buoyed by a ‘discernible flight to quality’ in its real estate business.

Mayhew also pointed to the 26 new partners that have been brought in as a key factor in its growth. Nine of the new partners arrived as lateral hires, while 17 were promoted.

BLP attributed its positive revenue result to strong performances across the business, but in particular, the firm’s flexible lawyer resource offering Lawyers On Demand (LOD), grew substantially.

LOD co-founder Simon Harper told Legal Business that the company’s revenues have shot up by 15% to £35m since the merger with Australia’s AdventBalance in February 2016, and he insisted that LOD remains ‘a very important part of what BLP are doing.’ The business invested £255,000 on new technology in 2016, according to Companies House.

In terms of regional performance, BLP’s Manchester office has expanded to become the firm’s third largest by headcount. The firm plans to develop its entreprise business in that region.

BLP confirmed in a statement that its strategy is to build an international litigation and corporate risk practice, in addition to increasing the prominence of its real estate and corporate and finance practices. Global real estate capability remains at the top of its list.

A major piece of work for the firm’s real estate team came in March this year as Chinese Investment Group CC Land made a bid worth over £1bn for the City’s Leadenhall building, the ‘Cheesegrater’.

However, the firm has scaled back in other areas, losing nine intellectual property (IP) lawyers to TMT specialist Bristows in March of this year.

BLP’s IP head Simon Clark and head of the brand management and trademarks group Ian Grueselle, were the two partners in the team who made the move.