Legal Business Blogs

Litigation drives growth as Stewarts Law sees PEP break the £1m barrier

The success of litigation-focused firms is again in evidence today (3 July) as Stewarts Law announced an increase in turnover of 29.5% to £45.2m for 2012/13 and average profits per equity partner of £1.1m.

The litigation boutique has seen its turnover almost quadruple from £11.9m in 2007/08 while net profit has hit £20.5m, following a year of key lateral hires and international expansion.

Managing partner John Cahill (pictured) said: ‘The last 12 months have seen the firm further strengthened through strong financials and increasing international expansion.

‘In the coming year, we will not stand still, we will launch a new tax litigation department, which will focus on high-profile tax cases and claimants.

‘Next year we hope to beak the £50m revenue barrier, and achieve 40% net profit and to form further strategic alliances overseas outside of the US. We are currently in discussions with a number of firms.’

The London-based firm spread overseas for the first time in May last year, opening offices in New York and Delaware after hiring former Grant & Eisenhofer securities litigation duo David Straite and Ralph Sianni. However, the firm is closing those offices after signing a strategic alliance with Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein following talks which lasted 12 months. Cahill said: ‘It is a model that we thought would be better long-term as it encourages collaboration rather than competition with firms like Lieff Cabraser.’

Stewarts made further lateral hires in November last year with the appointment of Manches’ high-profile family law team led by partner Helen Ward. Ward has been involved in a number of landmark cases including securing around £50m for client Guy Ritchie in one of the largest divorce settlements in UK history, following his divorce from Madonna in 2008.

Other litigation-only models to have enjoyed recent success include expansive US litigation boutique Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which saw its turnover rise by almost 18% over the past financial year to $853m.