As the first of the top 100 firms reveal their 2013/14 half-year (H1) results the early story is positive, with Gateley and Trowers & Hamlins seeing revenue growth of 4%, while Weightmans reports a 7% uplift and Clyde & Co sets a high bar for the top 20 with a turnover increase of 16.5% on figures this time last year.
The top 15 insurance firm confirmed that its H1 turnover for 2013/14 is £169m, which it said in a statement ‘has been achieved through a combination of underlying growth and improvements in our working capital management.’
Senior partner James Burns added: ‘It’s pleasing to see that we’ve maintained the rate of growth that we achieved in the second half of the last financial year, particularly after a tough first half of 2012/3.’
At Weightmans, meanwhile, which reported a H1 revenue of £41m, 7% up on £38.3m at the same point last year, managing partner John Schorah attributed the positive results so far to an around 20% increase in the firm’s corporate practice like-for-like on last year.
Schorah also highlighted a strong performance in the firm’s core insurance team, particularly in its large-loss and disease group, with commercial litigation and family also doing well.
The firm boosted its family capability earlier this year, picking up a legacy Challinors’ family team in Birmingham in August.
Elsewhere at Gateley, where activity levels have reportedly risen over the last two months, the 432-lawyer firm’s 4% rise in turnover is in part explained by a rise in property work, which now accounts for 30% of its total revenue.
Also enjoying a 4% rise in both turnover and profit is Trowers, where senior partner Jennie Gubbins similarly attributes the lift in revenue in part to an uptick in real estate work. ‘It’s an area that we’re putting a real focus on, and when I was appointed senior partner earlier this year we recognized it was a really big area for us and I don’t think the market realized what a big area it is for us, particularly some of the really high-end and interesting deals,’ Gubbins said.
‘Our litigators also had a good first half and our international division is pushing on better after a publicly torrid time last year,’ added Gubbins, after the top 50 firm saw its 2012/13 profit per equity partner drop by 37% to £304,000.