Legal Business Blogs

RPC’s profits rebound amid 10% revenue growth after consulting arm produces ‘good results’

RPC has followed up on last year’s disappointing financial performance with a 10% rebound in profits as revenue hit £112.7m.

The rise in net income to £28.9m was coupled with an 8% increase in profits per equity partner (PEP) to £348,000. The 2017/18 financial year was an improvement on last year’s modest 2% revenue growth, which resulted in an 11% drop in PEP to £322,000.

Managing partner James Miller pointed to good results for the firm’s insurance management consulting arm, which last year reported a loss of £2.6m after receiving substantial investment from the partnership.

Speaking to Legal Business, Miller said there had been some one-off costs associated with setting up RPC Consulting, launched in 2015, but he was ‘absolutely delighted with its performance’ and ‘without a shadow of a doubt’ it would generate profits in the year ahead.

He said the firm’s performance had been ‘uniform across all our main groups’, with its core litigation practice bringing in around 70% of the revenue. ‘If there is a significant insurance dispute the likelihood is we’ll be involved.’

The firm’s Asian business in Hong Kong and Singapore contributed about 15% of the revenue, with London and Bristol bringing in the rest.

Global headcount was flat at 360 lawyers and 83 equity partners compared to last year’s 355 and 82. The firm’s top of equity now sits at £1.2m and the bottom at £185,000, both up from £1m and £175,000 in 2016/17.

Miller struck a cautiously optimistic tone looking at the year ahead, saying the outcome of Brexit and the cost associated with complying with GDPR posed a challenge to every business.