Legal Business Blogs

Stewarts steels itself for the hit as it reports solid financials for 2019/20

Disputes specialist Stewarts has seen double-digit revenue growth for two years on the spin, posting an 11% increase in turnover to £77m for 2019/20, up from £69m from the previous financial year when it increased just shy of 11%. Profit per equity partner, meanwhile, saw a modest 3% increase to £1.25m; a needed rebound after the figure plummeted 16% in 2018/19.

The latest results show Stewarts continued recovery after its 2017/18 setback , where ‘non-linear’ income patterns from contingency work accounted for revenue falling by a fifth. The broader picture is that revenues over a five-year period have enjoyed a healthy uptick – rising almost 46%.  

The firm also stressed it has widened the equity across the partnership in a bid to remunerate future talent. Currently the firm’s equity spread stands at £609,000 – £1.72m. 

Commenting on the results, managing partner John Cahill (pictured) said: ‘We are pleased to post another good set of financial results. During the year we have made substantial investment in strengthening existing practice areas and in our book of contingency fee cases.  In previous years I have indicated that our revenue patterns would be non-linear and that remains the case. We expect that Covid-19 will have a negative impact on both revenue and profit in the financial year 2020/21.’ 

The emerging picture as firms continue to announce their financials for 2019/20 is one of resilience in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, and Herbert Smith Freehills are among the major players to have increased revenue, albeit as profitability across the LB100 suffers some attrition.