Legal Business Blogs

National champions: Surging revenues at Shoosmiths and TLT yield record results

Following on from their impressive performances last year, top 50 national players Shoosmiths and TLT have both unveiled strong 2021/22 financial results, characterised by pacey revenue increases.

At Shoosmiths, revenue jumped 8% from £167.9m to £181.8m, while net profit grew a healthy 9% from £55.4m to £60.7m. Profit per equity partner (PEP) was up by a less eye-catching 3%, from £658,000 to £675,000, however last year’s robust 41% jump in PEP is fresh in the memory.

Making the PEP result even more palatable was the firm’s significant investment in its people – Shoosmiths brought forward its annual pay review by two months, made a discretionary ‘thank you’ bonus payment equal to 3% of salary to all staff in May, and has announced an additional £1,000 payment for all employees in September to ease the cost-of-living burden.

During the year, Shoosmiths also opened its first ever international office in Brussels, to meet growing client demand for EU competition, regulatory and trade law advice.

Chief executive David Jackson told Legal Business: ‘It’s another really strong year. We’re really pleased with the sustained profit growth over the last two years, particularly considering that everyone is facing inflation fears and with the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. It’s testament to our amazing people.’

In terms of practice areas, Jackson reported the firm’s real estate team had a ‘stonking year’, and that Shoosmiths’ corporate practice also performed well after recent heavy investment. Moreover, Jackson is upbeat when it comes to future transactional activity: ‘Because we operate in the premium mid-market, deal activity is still relatively strong as we speak. Maybe the mega deals have started to slow down for the Magic Circle, but our market remains robust.’

Meanwhile, TLT has boosted its turnover by a startling 30% from £110m to £144m, exceeding its £140m revenue target set for 2025 three years early.

Managing partner John Wood attributed the result to a combination of TLT’s national firm status and its attractiveness to talented recruits. He told Legal Business: ‘Part of the revenue increase is down to something that’s happened over the last three years, with work going from the larger City firms to the bigger national firms. Clients have said: “Why am I using a big City firm when I could be using a national firm? Why am I paying the uplift?”

‘The other element is flexible working – it’s really worked for us. It works for our clients and it works for our colleagues. It also works well for prospective candidates – the first question they ask is: “What’s your approach to flexible working?”’

Emphasising the recruitment drive, TLT added over 400 new joiners throughout the year, including five partner-level hires.

Wood reported growth across all practice areas, but highlighted corporate as ‘very strong’ and described TLT’s clean energy team as ‘absolutely phenomenal’. Despite the cause for cheer, he remains vigilant for the year ahead: ‘This year was a leap forward for us. To replicate that next year will be challenging – I’m not sure how it’s going to play out in a high-inflation economy. Maybe the banking services team will do well!’