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Financials 2022/23: Kingsley Napley sees double-digit revenue growth but PEP tumbles

Kingsley Napley has reported an 11% rise in revenue to £61.2m from £55.2m, an all-time high for the firm. However, profit per equity partner (PEP) fell dramatically by 33% to £226,000 from £337,000 last year.

Speaking to Legal Business about the reasons behind the fall in PEP, managing partner Linda Woolley (pictured) said: ‘We brought in eight partners during the year and promoted four to partner internally. This was quite a big investment on our behalf but a planned investment. Also, you do not just recruit a partner, you recruit other people to support them.

‘Combined with this are all the things going on in the world: inflation, increasing interest rates, war, and Truss economics. We, like most firms, were affected by that but we decided to continue with those investments because that is what we need to do for the medium and long term,’ she added.

Over the past year the firm’s partnership has grown by 11%, increasing from 74 to 82 partners. Its real estate, dispute resolution and restructuring & insolvency practices have seen the most growth, expanding by two partners each. Its private client and employment practices have both added two partners.

‘Our other major investment this year was our new Bonhill Street office. With the extra space comes extra costs, and we invested quite heavily in technology to ensure we got the best use out of the building as quickly as we could,’ Woolley added.

Discussing the firm’s strongest-performing practices Woolley said: ‘Our biggest areas of growth were immigration, dispute resolution, and private client. Immigration had quite a tough Covid period, especially at the beginning because every visa centre in the whole world closed down. However, the team has used that period to review the way they do things.’ The revenue for its immigration practice increased 133% from last year and its dispute resolution revenue increased by 126%.

Recent standout mandates for the firm include advising Lord Sugar on the sale of his multi-million-pound stakes in The Apprentice-related investments, as well as advising Elite Emergency Medical Service on the acquisition of assets of Polaris Medical from its administrators Kroll. The firm is also advising The Sun on the investigation of its former executive editor, Dan Wootton.

Despite the fall in PEP, Woolley explained that the firm’s strategy remains the same, and it will continue to build on the investments in people and office space which it has made this year.

‘We will be continuing with the same approach, building on our strengths. What we have done over the years is to stick to our strengths and build up critical mass, then add specialist expertise in adjacent areas,’ Woolley said.

Now the firm’s recruitment push has now subsided, its recruitment strategy will focus on building out existing practices. We’ve got some recruits coming through, but now the strategy is more about consolidation. We won’t be looking to recruit in similar numbers to last year, probably two to three partners,’ she added.