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UK financial roll call: Wragge & Co, Hill Dicks, Watson Farley and Trowers reveal 2012/13 numbers

The UK top 100 financial roll call has seen Wragge & Co, Watson, Farley & Williams, Trowers & Hamlins and Hill Dickinson unveil their financial results for 2012/13, with a number suffering a significant dent in their profit figures.

Watson Farley broke through the £100m revenue barrier, reporting a firm-wide increase of 2% to £102.1m, up on last year’s £99.8m. However, PEP has dropped by 13% to £388,000 from £446,000 in 2012.

The 339-lawyer firm attributed both the rise in revenue and the drop in profit to its Hong Kong launch in March 2012 followed by an opening in Frankfurt in January of this year, together with the six lateral partner hires the firm made last year.

Watson Farley managing partner Michael Greville said: ‘We are confident that these investments driven by client demand will generate sustained growth for the business. A strong pipeline of work coming in across all of our offices already bodes well for 2013.’

Elsewhere, top 30 Birmingham headquartered Wragge & Co today announced an increase in both profit and turnover – the only one of the four firms to do so. Turnover was up by 2% to £120.5m and PEP rose by 3% to £339,000, with overall profit at the firm up by 5.5% from £38.1m to £40.2m.

At 332-lawyer firm Trowers & Hamlin, however, global net profit slid by 21% from 20.1m in 2011/12 to 15.8m this year, with PEP down to £307,000 and revenue down to £78.3m. Property contributed to 43% of the firm’s revenue, followed by corporate (30%), litigation (18%) finance (6%) and the remainder spread across other practice areas.

The UK top 50 firm’s equity spread this year ranges from £165,000 at its lowest to £412,000 at its highest, down from £198,000 to £496,000 in 2011/12, while the number of partner globally is down from 56 to 52.

Also suffering a significant drop in PEP is top 30 UK firm Hill Dickinson, which saw its figure decrease by 15% to £264,000 from £312,000 in 2011/12, although revenues increased to £112.8m, up 2% on last year’s £110.1m.

Managing partner Peter Jackson has pointed to increased overheads and international expansion for the firm’s slump in profitability, including its launch in February this year of an office in Monte Carlo to boost its yacht and shipping practices.