Legal Business

Perspectives: David Cran, RPC

I kind of just fell into law. I’m not one of these people who always had a burning desire to be a lawyer – I’m suspicious of those people! I did double maths, physics and economics at A Level, which is enough to put anyone off. I wanted to do something completely different so I decided to read law at university. Then one thing led to another.

I left Northern Ireland and came over here. My dad had done a post grad at the University of Oxford and really enjoyed it. He was keen for me, my brother and sister to go away for the ‘full experience’. So I went to Oxford, did my degree, and it felt like such a natural progression to go to London.

Legal Business

Financials 2021/22: RPC posts mixed results with robust revenues and dipping profits

RPC has posted mixed 2021/22 financial results, today (20 July) unveiling a 10% increase in revenue across its London, Bristol, Singapore and Hong Kong offices to £149.4m, albeit with a decline in profits..

Though the revenue figures are impressive, the firm was not able to maintain the level of growth seen in 2021, during which revenue jumped a striking 24% to reach £136m. Overall, revenue has spiked by 36% since 2020.

Managing partner James Miller (pictured) said: ‘After a successful FY21, we continued our strong revenue growth into the last financial year – growth that has come from investing in our people and investing in our infrastructure to better support our clients. That investment has carried us to a new record global revenue figure.

‘I am particularly pleased that we saw continued organic growth across all our strategic areas of the firm, including commercial & financial markets disputes, retail, insurance, technology & media, and regulatory.’

Profit per equity partner (PEP) stood at £571,000, a notable 10% drop from last year’s £634,000 figure, with net profit amounting to £43.3m. However the firm points to increased investment in IT, infrastructure and people, with new offices in Bristol being a key factor behind the profit dip.

The firm also highlighted the launch of ESG accelerator RPC Tectonic, 14 new partners (both lateral hires and promotions) and the addition of Peter Kwon as leader of the Korea desk as key developments in the last 12 months. It also recently appointed its first general counsel, as Reshma Raja was recruited from Dentons.

Looking forward, Miller remains optimistic: ‘We have an exciting future ahead of us and are committed now more than ever to delivering against our ambitious growth plans for the coming years. We will continue to develop and invest in good people – the recent promotion of 10 new partners and three of counsel being the first step, with more growth and investment announcements to come shortly.’

Legal Business

Financials 2020/21: RPC latest to shrug off lean spell to post robust financial growth

RPC is the latest LB100 firm to emerge from a ‘very challenging’ period to today (22 July) post exceptional financial results for 2020/21.

The firm’s total revenue for the financial year 2020/21 was £136m, an increase of 23% on FY20 (£110.1m) and 26% on 2018/19 (£108m).

Meanwhile, its net profit margin rose to 35%, up six percentage points on FY20 (29%), while profit per equity partner increased to £634,000, up a striking 50% on the £424,000 recorded last year.

These latest results are significant uptick in performance following a lean couple of years in which the firm overhauled both its business lines and its equity partnership structure.

Managing partner James Miller (pictured) said revenue growth was evident across all offices  (London, Bristol, Singapore and Hong Kong) in the last financial year: ‘These results reflect just how unbelievably hard our people have worked over this past year, and in especially challenging circumstances for many of us and our clients. The numbers speak to our high-performance culture, unwavering commitment to clients and the quality of our people. While the news is undoubtedly very positive for our business, they are set against a backdrop of many people – and many businesses – experiencing a very challenging year; both professionally and personally.’

Miller also noted that the firm has continued to invest in developing and hiring new talent. This includes a commercial disputes team in Singapore acquired from Bird & Bird, as well as the hire of Tom Purton, Travers Smith’s former head of commercial, IP & technology, at the beginning of the year. RPC has also made up a total of 28 new partners in the last 15 months.

Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: RPC interview series – Michelle Sloane

What advice would you give to clients who want to be prepared for potential investigations in relation to the criminal offences of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion?

A defence exists of having ‘reasonable prevention procedures’ in place. Therefore, the first thing that I would advise is to ensure these procedures are in place. Despite the new laws on failure to prevent tax evasion being around since September 2017, quite a lot of corporates have failed to implement any procedures. These corporates will find it near impossible to mount a successful defence to these offences.

Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: RPC interview series – Simon Hart

To what extent is the current crisis similar to the 2008 financial crisis?

They are very different. Every economic crisis has different drivers, despite people tending to lump them together. The consequences for the legal market are always different as a result. Why? 2008 was a once-in-a-lifetime event, just like the pandemic, but of a different type. Undercapitalised banks themselves were one of the main causes of the crisis, they were right at the heart. The economy was on the precipice because the banks were so over-leveraged.

Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: RPC interview series – Jeremy Drew

How would you describe RPC’s retail offering?

Our retail group is one of the five strategic focuses of the firm. It sits at the very heart of what we do.

It’s one of the biggest and most comprehensive retail practices in the City. We have the necessary scale. There are more than 70 core people in the retail group, over 30 of whom are partners. We have intentionally kept a reasonably high partner leverage.