Legal Business Blogs

Insurance specialists face tough times as Ince & Co’s revenues fall 8% and Kennedys flatlines

While mid-tier firms continue to reveal solid returns for the 2014/15 financial year, those focused on insurance are suffering from the challenges in the sector with Ince & Co posting a drop in revenues and Kennedys revealing 1% turnover growth.

Ince’s global revenues have fallen for the second year running, down by 8% to £79.4m from the £86.7m posted in 2013/14. The year before that, revenues at the insurance focused firm stood at £93.2m in the 2012/13 LB100.

In addition, the firm’s UK revenue for 2014/15 came in at £47.5m, dropping 9% from £52.2m. The international picture was healthier with six out of eleven of the firm’s offices seeing year-on-year growth, with particularly strong showings in China and the Middle East.

Despite the firm’s turnover fall, it stated that profits had shot up 13% to £275,000 after dropping 2% in 2013/14 to £244,000.

The firm said the decline in revenues was because ‘current market conditions, particularly in the firm’s specialist sectors, remain challenging due to the continued downturn in the market – most notably in the shipping industry’.

Ince’s senior partner Jan Heuvels said: ‘We are counter-cyclical to many other top international firms, as traditionally a large portion of our work comes from major international disputes in our core sectors. Many of these disputes came to an end during the course of the last financial year [2014/15], along with a reduced appetite for litigation generally in our sectors. All these factors have impacted the firm’s bottom line.

‘The firm is addressing this downturn in revenue by focusing on a number of key growth programmes, for example, reshaping our partnership, updating the strategy of each sector group and practice team, and undertaking a substantial change process in our business services teams.’

Earlier this year, Ince & Co restructured its partnership and support staff with six partners and ten secretarial staff set to depart. This was after the firm conducted a round of redundancies last year which saw 33 roles cut.

Meanwhile, Kennedys also unveiled its 2014/15 figures with revenues coming in at £129.9m, up from £128.5m last year – showing an increase of just 1%. This comes after the firm enjoyed double digit growth last year when revenues rose 10%.

A large contributor of revenue at the top 30 firm came from its UK activity, which generated £99.7m – slightly higher than last year’s level at £98.3m – while London office fee income this year came in at £66.2m with £33.5m being generated outside of London.

The firm’s net income stands at £24.6m, with the highest earning LLP member pocketing £550,000, while the lowest earner took home £220,000. Of the 60-equity partners, three currently sit at top of the firm’s equity. However, PEP fell 2% from £419,000 to £410,000, having grown 3% in 2013/14.

The firm currently boasts a total of 21 offices, eleven of which are in the UK. The firm launched in Scotland at the beginning of this year with new bases in Edinburgh and Glasgow.