Legal Business Blogs

Reports season 2013 – Addleshaws sees income slide but holds profits steady

Addleshaw Goddard today (31 May) became one of the first major UK law firms to announce its 2012/13 financial results, confirming that revenue has dipped by 2% to £167m against its previous financial year. The top 25 UK law firm saw profits per equity (PEP) partner edge up 2% to £457,000.

Despite the generally subdued outlook and weak demand in the UK market the performance will be viewed as disappointing for Addleshaws, which has struggled to achieve sustained growth over the last five years.

Addleshaws’ managing partner Paul Devitt said: ‘Of course, we would have liked to have seen income growth for the year alongside the improved PEP and margin and so, in that sense, we’re disappointed. Nevertheless, after a slow first half to the year, it was good to see some growth in the second half.

‘Most significantly, we made strong progress with the following key priorities – we secured and improved important client relationships and panel positions; we further developed and embedded our innovative and adaptable delivery and pricing approach; we enhanced significantly our capability and reach outside the UK; and we increased substantially the strength in depth of our partner team. They are all key developments of the business. We are well positioned to win market share and grow.’

The few financial results that have yet emerged for 2012/13 have so far shown widely diverging fortunes with Mishcon de Reya and property boutique Forsters both announcing double-digit percentage revenue growth. However, many advisers are struggling to expand given the sustained downturn in Western economies.

Addleshaws has been moving to re-position itself over the last two years, with the 700-lawyer firm recently abandoning its UK focus to invest heavily in forging an international network. The firm launched five new offices over the last financial year in Dubai, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar and Singapore and has made nine lateral partner recruits over the year.

Legal Business revealed earlier in the year that Addleshaws had held abortive merger discussions with Nabarro. The firm highlighted instructions for Admiral Taverns on a £200m acquisition, a £750m PFI mandate for BDR Waste and a £135m equity capital markets deal for Clinigen Group as key work over the 12-month period.