Legal Business Blogs

‘Only certainty is even more uncertainty’: Addleshaws shows endurance as firm steels itself for year ahead 

Addleshaw Goddard adhered to an increasingly familiar trend over the last financial year, the firm’s latest figures show, with revenues proving resilient in the last months of 2019/20 while partner profits took a minor dent.

Turnover was up 4% to £288m from £275m the previous financial year, when the firm exceeded all expectations as revenue soared 14%. However, profit per equity partner (PEP) endured a modest decline, falling 5% to £690,000 from £727,000 in 2018/19, when the figure jumped by 12%. Over 80% of revenue was generated through energy and utilities, financial services, health, real estate, retail and consumer, and transport.  

Commenting on the figures, managing partner John Joyce (pictured) said: ‘Our business responded well to a very unpredictable period for our clients with the ongoing Brexit saga, then an election and in the second half of the year the impact of coronavirus, first in Asia and then more widely. After a strong first half, we adapted quickly to the pandemic and to close out the year in-line with plan is testament to the quality and diversification of the firm’s client base and the resilience of our people and the infrastructure built in recent years.’

The consensus is that those free of debt and with meaningful cash reserves are likely to be safest in 2020/21. Despite the fall in PEP, the firm managed to improve its liquidity with net cash closing at £84m in 2019/20, a significant increase on the firm’s £59m balance sheet in 2018/19. Distributable profit, meanwhile, was also up after a small 1% increase to £102m.

Addleshaws also grew its partner ranks over the year, with 24 new partners recruited across construction, energy and infrastructure, global investigations, funds finance, equity capital markets and restructuring. The firm also opened its first office in Germany in June 2019.

Joyce added: ‘The only certainty this year is that it will be even more uncertain than the last but we have made a solid start and some teams remain very busy whilst others have seen their markets badly impacted and arguably have a more negative outlook. We very much retain an appetite to grow and retaining profit from last year, as we did the prior year, alongside the overall strength of our balance sheet leaves us well placed to weather uncertainty and continue to invest and recruit where the right opportunity presents itself.’

For more on Addleshaw Goddard, see our interview with John Joyce earlier this year: ‘The Addleshaws Interview: The rebound guy’