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Insurance business sale reduces Hill Dicks revenue 7% as shrinking partnership boosts profit

Profit and profit per equity partner (PEP) increased at shipping specialists Hill Dickinson last year but revenue dived following the sale of its insurance business to Keoghs.

PEP was up 26% to £370,000 from £294,000 last year, as distributable profits likewise grew 7%, from £15.7m to £16.8m. Turnover, however, saw a contraction of 7% from £96.8m to £90.4m.

The shrink in revenue comes after Hill Dickinson sold its insurance business to fellow LB100 firm Keoghs in a deal completed in February 2018, before the start of the current financial year. A total of 17 partners and 311 staff decamped from the firm as part of the deal, aiding the firm’s latest profit figures.

In the remaining part of the business, revenue grew 10%, while healthcare work has seen 32% year-on-year growth.

Hill Dickinson chief executive Peter Jackson told Legal Business (pictured) the sale of the insurance business had been widely welcomed at the firm: ‘It’s been a joy not to have the insurance business as a driver. We’ve increased budgets and challenged ourselves to continue growing. If Q1 is reflective, we’re going to hit budget and achieve our targets.’

He added: ‘Both NHS and private healthcare work has been a big driver for us. Over the last year, the shipping market has also stabilized after years of recession. The surprising thing is we haven’t on the face of it seen a nervousness in the market; clients are busy and deals are happening.’