LLP accounts show City elite firms Travers Smith and Mishcon de Reya both saw double digit turnover growth in 2016. While Travers lifted its top paid member to £1.5m, Mishcon’s highest paid dipped slightly.
For Travers, revenues jumped from £105.2m to £120.3m over the year to 30 June 2016, accounting for a 14% increase. As a result of another year of double-digit growth, operating profit at the firm also grew 12% from £52.4m to £58.5m. The highest paid member at Travers bagged £1.5m in 2016, increasingly slightly from last year’s figure of £1.3m. This figure in LLP accounts does not necessarily equate to the highest paid equity partner and can relate to ‘golden handshakes’ to retiring members.
As the firm continues its upward financial trajectory, staff numbers and costs have also expanded, with the number of fee earners increasing from 265 in 2015 to 282 this time round. Support staff numbers were also up from 152 in 2015 to 167 this year, with staff costs increasing in tandem from £36.2m to £42.7m.
Travers Smith senior partner Chris Hale commented: ‘It was a good set of results, with a good performance all-round. Our transactions teams did well, as did our disputes team and advisory businesses. The current year won’t be as spectacular, but is likely to be good in the circumstances.
‘Unlike many other firms, we won’t benefit from a massive currency uplift because we have very little income to convert from Euro or dollars into sterling but on a like-for-like basis, I’m sure this year we’ll hold our own.’
In the firm’s first year as an LLP, Mishcon recorded another period of growth as turnover rose 18% to £130m from £110m for the year to 9 April 2016. Operating profit was up from £40.6m to $45.1m.
Mishcon managing partner Kevin Gold told Legal Business that he attributed the firm’s success to ‘the development of the brand and the continuing development of our people. Altogether it was a reasonable year.’
Gold (pictured) added: ‘The continued growth of our twin strategies, aspiring to be the leading disputes house in London and one of the leading private client firms, was aided by a good year in the dispute and private wealth markets.’
The average number of members at Mishcon rose from 83 to 91, but remuneration for the highest paid member dipped slightly from £1.74m to £1.73m. Staff costs were up to £45m from £39.2m, while the average number of partners was up from 525 to 588.
Gold explained the drop in highest paid member as ‘spreading the love.’ Gold also indicated that profit per equity partner at the firm was ‘around the £1m mark’, which would be a potential increase on last year’s reported figure of £950,000.
The firm entered a revolving credit facility in March 2015 in order to fund the fit out of its new offices, which it moved into in July 2015. According to the accounts, while the facility was originally agreed at £18m, some of the loan has been repaid and the facility has been reduced to £10.8m. The statements say the firm expects to pay the loan back by March 2020 when the facility expires.