Legal Business Blogs

Financials 2017/18: CMS claims 25% profit hike post-merger as DWF’s top line grows 23%

CMS UK has today (20 November) claimed profits have grown 25% in the six months since its three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang. Meanwhile, DWF’s unrelenting push internationally has seen turnover grow 23% at the H1 2017/18 stage.

Following its tripartite merger on 1 May this year, CMS said H1 turnover for its UK business was more than 50% of its full-year budget, at £253m.

However, the firm did not provide an actual figure for net profit, save to comment it was up 25% on the figure last year. This renders a like-for-like comparison meaningless, as it includes combined profit with legacy firms Nabarro and Olswang, with Olswang not providing H1 results in 2016.

The firm said disputes and TMT have been key drivers of the firm’s performance this year, while it brought about significant savings by subletting most of legacy Nabarro and Olswang former premises after all staff moved into CMS UK’s offices at Cannon Place. The three firms also cut 300 support staff roles in the Spring ahead of the merger.

Managing partner Stephen Millar described the latest financial results as ‘fantastic’, saying it was ‘a direct consequence of the momentum and confidence we are experiencing throughout the business’.

‘We have been working extremely hard on integration, and although there is more to be done, we are in a strong position. The fundamental systems integration is in place and strong working relationships have formed across the firm.’

Speaking to Legal Business in the autumn , Millar said financial measures were ‘crude but important’ in assessing the success of the firm in the first 18 months after the merger and noted the firm was performing ‘ahead of expectations’.

Elsewhere today, top 25 firm DWF has also posted strong results for H1 2017/18, with revenue up 23% and net profit increasing by ‘circa 33%’. Turnover for H1 2017/18 was £113.5m in a period marked by a spate of office openings in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

‘Particularly in a year that has already seen us put a significant amount of investment into our expansion, this is a good set of results which indicate there is huge potential for us to achieve further growth through the rest of the year,’ said the firm’s managing partner and chief executive Andrew Leaitherland.

Most recently DWF opened in Milan with a 16-strong team hire from local independent Pavia & Ansaldo. The firm also launched in Australia last month  and in Singapore in July with a four-lawyer team from Eversheds Sutherland.

In July the firm entered South America through a number of associations   in Argentina, Panama and Colombia.