Legal Business Blogs

The growth continues: Stephenson Harwood posts 9% bump in another record turnover year

Stephenson Harwood has posted another record financial year, with revenue up 9% on last year from £145m to £158m.

Profits per equity partner also increased by 1.4% in the 2015/16 financial year, up by £11,000 to £774,000.

The increase follows 2014/15’s impressive 20% rise in revenue. Although those figures were boosted by fees from several multi-year matters, the firm said that discounting those payments still saw it achieve an underlying growth rate of 16%.

Stephenson Harwood chief executive Sharon White (pictured) said the firm has witnessed consistent growth across its sectors and believes a focus on clients and team work has contributed to Stephenson Harwood’s year-on-year growth.

‘Our profitability was fantastic last year so I think to have matched that and manage an increase, albeit relatively modest on that performance, is quite something so we’re very pleased about that. We’ve had good performance across the piece; all of our offices, all of our practices have had a great year.

She added: ‘I’m really encouraged to see and hear about lots of things we’re doing with those new partners and our pre-existing partners, working with them and going out together to see clients and contacts shows good prospects.’

The firm has made a number of notable hires across the financial year, bringing in Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co corporate finance partner Karima Hudson and Ashurst corporate partner Anthony Clare to its London office. Stephenson Harwood also made a significant boost to its Hong Kong office, bringing in Eversheds trade finance partner King Tak Fung and commercial litigator partner Ivan Ng alongside Withers private wealth partner Erik Wallace to its Asia hub.

The hires coincide with its newly formalised association with Chinese law firm Wei Tu earlier this year, permitted under a free trade agreement, Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), between mainland China and Hong Kong. The association means Stephenson Harwood can practise Chinese law through Wei Tu.

In April the firm announced its largest ever promotions round, introducing nine to partnership across its London, Paris, Hong Kong, Piraeus and Dubai office, with three finance partners, two corporate partners making up five of the nine promotions. Last year the firm had promoted five in all London, across three practice areas.

Filings at Companies House posted at the beginning of this year show the highest-paid LLP member at Stephenson Harwood took home £1.3m during the last financial year compared to just over £1m the previous year – an increase of nearly 30% on what was paid in 2013/14.

Other LB100 firms to report this season include Osborne Clarke, which has seen a 23% rise in global revenues to €236.3m with the firm posting a UK revenue rise of 17% from £96.5m in 2015 to £112.9m. TLT posted the second-best turnover increase of the season so far, with a 15% bump to hit £71.6m for the 2015/16 financial year while Forsters’ 11% jump in revenue to £46.2m marks the West End firm’s sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth.