Legal Business Blogs

Insurance sector woes hit Hill Dickinson as revenue falls by £8m and PEP slides 4%

After having carried out two redundancy rounds over the year, Hill Dickinson has seen its revenues for 2014/15 fall 6% from £112m to £104m while profit per equity partner (PEP) is down 4% from £271,000 last financial year to £261,000.

The numbers mark a static period for the top 40 firm, which covers sectors including aviation, banking and financial services and insurance, with last years numbers showing a 1% fall in revenue and small rise in PEP of 3%. Nevertheless, revenues are up 20% on 2010.

In a statment the firm put the 6% drop down to a decision to exit the claimant law market, changes in the UK insurance fraud sector and the sale of its Chester office to Knights.

Hill Dickinson’s managing partner, Peter Jackson, said: ‘Despite the difficulties within a certain number of our core markets, we are confident of making progress to towards our target of becoming a £150m law firm by 2017, focusing on our core sector strengths and working with our clients to deliver that growth, alongside our planned acquisition strategy.’

It has been a tough year for the Liverpool-headquartered firm, which has carried out a number of redundancy consultations over the last year. The most recent consultation was launched in May, and put around 30 jobs at risk in Hill Dickinson’s offices in London, Liverpool and Manchester. The firm put the move down to ‘a period of considerable market change’ due to an ‘operational restructure.’

In September last year, Hill Dickinson concluded another consultation process over restructuring its counter fraud group. This resulted in the loss of 40 jobs, all of which were voluntary and consisted of 25 fee earners and 15 secretaries. At the time the firm also put the process down to investment in better technology and systems.ll

Other firms around the top 40 of the Legal Business 100 have posted better results with both Shoosmiths and Bond Dickinson surpassing the £100m mark, posting 10% and 7% growth respectively. Bond Dickinson saw revenues rise to £106m, with profits up around 20%, while Shoosmiths returned to a pre-financial crisis high, with turnover at £103m, and PEP soaring 44% to £416,000.