Legal Business Blogs

H1 2014/15: ‘Early stages’ – Stephenson Harwood’s revenues up 12% in first half

Stephenson Harwood has posted a 12% increase in turnover to £64m for the first half of the financial year 2014/15 compared to £57m in the same period in 2013, with the firm’s new Dubai office seeing a rise in revenues.

Chief executive Sharon White said that although not one practice area or region stood out, she was particularly impressed with how the firm was performing in its Dubai office, which launched in December 2012.

‘The Dubai office has seen a large increase in revenues, but that is because it’s in its early stages,’ said White. ‘The office is establishing itself in the region and offers a broad range of litigation and corporate work.’

But, White added: ‘London is still our biggest office and growth in London is still very much on our agenda.’

The firm has recruited five partners in the first half of this year, including the hire of corporate partners Geoff Gouriet and Sam Gray from Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co in London, DLA Piper’s Mike Pullen and Salem Chalabi, and Clyde & Co’s Lynia Lau to head the firm’s energy and resources group in Greater China.

In September this year, Stephenson Harwood closed its office in Guangzhou as the firm reviewed its strategy in China, and was awarded a licence to open a Seoul office in August, in a bid to boost its marine, international trade and ship-finance work in Seoul.

According to the firm’s recent LLP filings ending 30 April 2014, operating profit at the firm was up 17% from £37.5m to £44m, while overall profit was up marginally more by 18% from £36.8m to £43.3m.

The average number of equity partners grew from 122 in 2013 to 119 in 2014, with the highest paid partner receiving £1,025,000, an increase of 14.5% on last year when the highest paid member took home £825,000. Overall headcount at the firm grew from 702 to 725, and overall staff costs reflected this by rising a mere 2%.

The firm currently has nine offices across Europe, Asia and the Middle East and has acted on a number of high profile international deals over the course of the year including the $2.5bn tourism development project in Oman in October; and advising on the restructuring of Monarch Airlines where Stephenson Harwood advised the Pension Protection Fund in relation to the restructuring of the substantial pension deficit.