Legal Business

‘Last year wasn’t a blip’: Shoosmiths revenue rises 7% as profit growth slows

‘Last year wasn’t a blip’: Shoosmiths revenue rises 7% as profit growth slows

Shoosmiths believes it is still on target to hit £200m in revenue after a steady financial year which saw modest growth and steady profit per equity partner (PEP) results after an 18% surge last year to £434,000.

The results today (24 July) showed a 7% increase in turnover to £137.6m, while net profit was up 6% to £37.9m, a significant slowdown on last year’s 22% growth. PEP was almost flat, edging up 2% to £441,000, but the result comes after an impressive hike in the metric last year.

‘It’s a good year, the numbers have stood up well and it builds on the showing from last year,’ Shoosmiths chief executive Simon Boss (pictured) told Legal Business. ‘Last year wasn’t a one-off or a blip.’

One of the primary drivers for this year’s growth was the firm’s corporate practice, where revenue grew 12% as the firm brought in five corporate partner hires over the year. Shoosmiths counts 13 locations across the UK and 195 partners.

However, this year’s revenue growth is a slight slowdown on last year’s 10% increase. But Boss argues the firm’s financial modelling shows it remains on target to reach its £200m-revenue ambition, and given increasingly difficult market conditions, he says the performance was impressive.

‘It comes against the back drop of political and economic uncertainty in the UK and globally,’ he said. ‘But our strong UK focus is playing out well in the current environment.’

Boss is relatively new to the CEO role, having assumed the position on the 1 January after succeeding former CEO Claire Rowe who had spearheaded the firm for over a decade.

thomas.alan@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Financials 2017: Shoosmiths posts 9% hike in revenue while PEP remains flat

Financials 2017: Shoosmiths posts 9% hike in revenue while PEP remains flat

National firm Shoosmiths has posted a 9% rise in revenue from £107m to £116.7m, but profit per equity partner (PEP) at the firm has remained flat at £366,000.

Overall profit at the firm was up 17% to £29.38m, but the firm increased the number of full equity partners from 36 to 41, an increase of 14%.

Shoosmiths chief executive Claire Rowe (pictured) said that income in the corporate practice grew by 14%, while commercial and private client also performed well.

‘Deal flow was quiet over the summer months, but our corporate team certainly bucked the trend in terms of the sheer volume of deals that they completed over the course of the year. Our restructuring and insolvency team also had a really strong year. Elsewhere, we had strong growth in the private client team that was largely in clinical negligence and family matters – reflecting our investment in previous years,’ she said.

Over the last year, the firm has expanded by opening offices in Northern Ireland and Leeds, bringing the total number of UK offices to 12.

In July 2016, for the firm’s Leeds opening, it hired an employment duo from Yorkshire-based Gordons, as part of an ongoing strategy to increase its UK legal market share.

Last December, Shoosmiths confirmed plans to merge with Belfast firm McManus Kearney, taking on the firms two partners Mark Frances Kearney and Jason Bryne and 14 staff. Shoosmiths saw a net increase of 20 partners across all offices.

Other firms to announce their financials so far have seen similar growth. After a subdued 2015/16 financial year, Pinsent Masons has broken the £400m barrier with revenues up 11% from £382.3m to £423.1m in 2016/2017.

Profit per equity partner (PEP) jumped 14% from £552,000 to £625,000. Excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, the firm achieved like-for-like turnover growth of 7%

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Shoosmiths drives Leeds litigation practice with Gordons hire

Shoosmiths drives Leeds litigation practice with Gordons hire

In its latest northern push, national firm Shoosmiths has hired leading commercial litigator Matthew Howarth as a partner from Gordons, to head up the firm’s Leeds commercial litigation practice.

Howarth is the fourth partner to move across from Gordons since Shoosmiths launched in Leeds in December 2016.

His practice is highly rated for acting on large scale professional negligence recovery claims for banks. He has also advised companies on confidential information claims, breaches of warranty disputes and shareholder actions. 

Gordons is rated second-tier for commercial litigation in the Legal 500 in Leeds and West Yorkshire and notably strong in the financial services sector. Howarth was also a member of Gordons’ management board and spent eight years as head of its 27-strong commercial litigation department.

The firm’s Leeds head Paul Stokey, who also joined Shoosmiths from Gordons, said this latest hire further underlines Shoosmiths’ ambitions to establish a hub of legal excellence for clients in the North.

He said Howarth had an excellent reputation as a first class litigator both in the Yorkshire market and nationally. ‘I look forward to working with him as we continue to expand by attracting the most talented and ambitious lawyers to the firm,’ he said.

The hire follows a series of appointments this year for the top 40 UK firm, including two other partners from Gordons, Simon Robinson and Phil Crowe in employment, former Simpson Millar national head of family law Peter Morris and real estate partner Richard Bellamy and Judy Fawcett from Addleshaw Goddard and Ward Hadaway respectively.

With 12 offices across the UK, Shoosmiths announced a turnover of £107m to end of April 2016. The firm also announced it was launching in Northern Ireland through a merger last December with Belfast firm, McManus Kearney.

Georgiana.tudor@legalbusiness.co.uk

Legal Business

Shoosmiths enters Northern Ireland through takeover of insolvency firm McManus Kearney

Shoosmiths enters Northern Ireland through takeover of insolvency firm McManus Kearney

The second LB 100 firm to announce a move into Northern Ireland this week, national firm Shoosmiths has confirmed plans to merge with Belfast firm, McManus Kearney.

Shoosmiths, which has 11 other offices in England and Scotland, said it ‘was prompted to move into Northern Ireland as a commitment to providing truly national service for clients’ of its recoveries services group.

Specialised in domestic debt and insolvency matters, McManus will rebrand as Shoosmiths from today (1 December) and its two partners, Mark Frances Kearney and Jason Byrne, will remain at the firm’s Belfast office alongside 14 staff.

Shoosmiths chief executive Claire Rowe (pictured) said the merger was motivated by client demand and ‘our wish to have a commercial presence in Northern Ireland’ as a result of work the firm undertakes in recoveries and commercial financial services.

Waine Mannix, Shoosmiths’ head of recoveries services, said the group has worked with McManus Kearney ‘for a number of years, sharing places on clients’ panels and through instructing the firm.’

Shoosmiths’ partner Stephen Dawson, who leads the firm’s financial services advisory team, will also lend his support to the growth and development of the new office. He already lives in Northern Ireland.

The firm is in good stead to make key investments, with revenue modestly rising 4% to £107m for the 2015/16 financial year, down on the firm’s double digit growth last year of 10%.

On Monday (28 November) fellow LB 100 firm DWF announced it had secured a merger in Northern Ireland with Belfast firm C&H Jefferson. Known to specialise in commercial property and disputes, for its reputation in professional negligence, the 20-partner firm officially joined DWF, giving the latter 12 offices as well as offices outside the UK in Brussels, Cologne, Dubai, Dublin and Munich.

sarah.downey@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Revolving doors: National hires for Shoosmiths and DLA, while Ashurst also boosts its ranks

Revolving doors: National hires for Shoosmiths and DLA, while Ashurst also boosts its ranks

In a week which saw multiple departures from Ashurst, the firm sought to reverse the trend with a hire in its German tax practice, while DLA Piper and Shoosmiths made national hires and White & Case bulked up in London.

Ashurst has hired partner Martin Bünning from Jones Day in Frankfurt, where he was a partner since 2011. His practice focuses on tax advice for investors in real estate and other alternative investments, as well as on tax structures for open-ended and closed funds.

Commenting on the hire, Tobias Krug, managing partner of Ashurst in Germany said: ‘Martin Bünning is exceptionally experienced in advising on the tax aspects of national and cross-border real estate, private equity and corporate transactions. He is ideally suited to Ashurst given the firm’s strength in these areas and we are confident he will make a significant contribution to the team.’

Meanwhile Shoosmiths boosted its national regulatory practice with the appointment of two partners, Roy Tozer in Birmingham and Charles Arrand in Milton Keynes from DLA Piper.

Arrand was also previously at Pinsent Masons and has experience in advising both individuals and well-known brands on a range of regulatory issues including investigations and prosecutions in relation to regulatory offences while Tozer has been involved in high-profile health, safety and environmental cases as well as multi-jurisdictional product liability cases.

Stuart Little, commercial practice group head at Shoosmiths, commented: ‘The addition of Roy and Charles’ expertise will further grow our highly successful regulatory practice, allowing all our clients to benefit from first class regulatory and compliance advice alongside our award winning client experience.’

DLA has also made a hire in Birmingham, strengthening its real estate team with the appointment of Monique Sutherland from Squire Patton Boggs. Sutherland has been involved in a number of landmark developments in the Midlands including Paradise Circus.

In London, White & Case expanded its global tax practice with the addition of Michael Wistow as co-head of the firm’s tax practice in EMEA from Berwin Leighton Paisner. His practice is focused on corporate, finance and real estate industry-based transactions and clients, including real estate finance, property and debt funds, securitisation, leasing and structured financings and corporate

The firm’s London office executive partner Oliver Brettle said: ‘With our recent expansion across our practices in London, and continued focus on profitable growth, we believe a larger tax team is appropriate and necessary here in London. The team will continue to focus on both high value tax advice-driven mandates and supporting our transactional practices. Our tax lawyers will play a particularly strategic role in the ongoing development of our real estate, private equity, finance and infrastructure industry practices.’

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Shoosmiths appoints five new partners as Burford and RPC make hires

Revolving doors:  Shoosmiths appoints five new partners as Burford and RPC make hires

The front door was spinning at Shoosmiths this week as it swooped for hires from three City firms, while Ashurst‘s exits continued, and Burford Capital and RPC Perform both recruited.

Shoosmiths’ recruitments hot up an otherwise quiet August with a spate of hires from Hogan Lovells, Charles Russell Speechlys, King & Wood Mallesons and a move for Iconix’s senior in-house counsel.

The UK firm hired Hogan Lovells corporate partner Amit Nayyar and senior real estate associate Ed John, who joins the firm as partner. Shoosmiths tapped Charles Russell for planning partner Tim Johnson, and added to the exits at King & Wood Mallesons by recruiting Angus Evers, who will join as the firm’s head of environment.

As well as grabbing a raft of new partners from the City, Shoosmiths added Richard Millington who joins from Iconix, the home of brands including Umbro, where he was VP international counsel. Millington will join Shoosmiths’ technology, media and commercial team in the firm’s Manchester office.

As the firm continues to struggle with a string of exits, Ashurst has lost a key member of its Africa team, with oil & gas and mining project partner Nicolas Bonnefoy leaving the firm to start his own practice. Bonnefoy has advised clients such as Mitsui & Co, oil company OMV Group and Sasol as well as Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bonnefoy is the latest in a wave of recent departures, including the firm’s CFO Brian Dunlop earlier this month.

While Burford Capital, the global litigation financing firm, has appointed former Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson head of competition and antitrust Craig Arnott as its new managing director. Arnott takes over after the sudden resignation of Nick Rowles-Davies.

Arnott will focus on the UK, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Burford chief executive Christopher Bogart said: ‘We’re very pleased to welcome Craig to Burford. He brings over 20 years of commercial law experience in multiple legal jurisdictions that will assist us in meeting the increasingly global demands of our clients.’

Finally, RPC’s general counsel consulting arm, RPC Perform, has hired Royal Bank of Scotland consultant Varun Srikumar in the latest addition to the team. RPC Perform was founded early in 2016, headed up by former T-Mobile GC and Huron Consulting legal managing director Julia Chain. Srikumar is the fifth new signing for the fledgling practice.

matthew.field@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Launching Leeds: Shoosmiths takes Gordons employment duo to open eleventh office

Launching Leeds: Shoosmiths takes Gordons employment duo to open eleventh office

Shoosmiths is to open a new office in Leeds with an employment duo from Yorkshire-based Gordons as part of the firm’s ongoing strategy to increase its share of the UK legal market.

Partners Simon Robinson and Phil Crowe will lead the offering, which will be Shoosmith’s eleventh office. The firm said the new office is likely to open in late 2016.

Shoosmiths chief executive Claire Rowe said that the move was part of a plan to create a Northern hub and take a larger share of the domestic market.

Rowe (pictured) added: ‘Although we already advise clients based in Yorkshire, this new office will enable us to develop more work from some of the largest national and international corporates in that region. We plan to create a Northern hub of legal expertise for Shoosmiths’ clients with our Leeds and Manchester offices working closely together and anticipate recruiting specialists in key fields including corporate, real estate and commercial disciplines to help us fulfil that goal.’

Last week, the firm announced 4% growth in revenue for 2015/16 to £107m. The figure was down on the firm’s double-digit growth last year of 10%. In 2014/15, the firm saw turnover recover to near pre-2008 levels, reaching £102.7m. The latest figures see the firm beat its 2007/8 record for the first time, when the revenues reached £103.4m.

Shoosmiths profit per equity partner was lower at £365,000, compared with last year’s figure of £416,000. The firm said this was because this financial year was its first as an all-equity partnership, having moved to the model in May last 2015.

The firm has recruited and promoted 14 partners in the last year, strengthening its offices in Birmingham, Manchester and London, having moved into its new office at Tower 42 in 2015. Rowe said the firm was leading an IT transformation programme as part of its digital strategy.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

‘Building our business’: Turnover growth stalls at Shoosmiths with 4% revenue rise

‘Building our business’: Turnover growth stalls at Shoosmiths with 4% revenue rise

Shoosmiths has seen revenue rise 4% for 2015/16 to £107m, down on the firm’s double digit growth last year of 10%. In 2014/15, the firm saw turnover recover to near pre-2008 levels, reaching £102.7m. The latest results see the firm beat its 2007/8 record for the first time, when the revenues reached £103.4m.

Shoosmiths profit per equity partner was considerably lower at £365,000, compared with last year’s figure of £416,000. The firm said this was because this financial year was its first as an all-equity partnership, having moved to the model in May last 2015. Rowe (pictured) added: ‘this is a reduction on last year, but is still our second highest PEP in the last nine years’.

The national firm said on a like for like basis, profits were up by 4% to £25.1m.

Shoosmiths chief executive Claire Rowe said: ‘These growth figures reflect the fact that we are building our business for the future by investing in new talent and the infrastructure required to operate as a successful, forward-thinking modern law firm.’

Rowe told Legal Business: ‘Undoubtedly the Brexit vote has caused a considerable amount of uncertainty. On the transactional side we have seen some deals paused. Equally we have had some come back on track and they have now completed. I think there will be a continued dampening effect on the market, but equally there are always two sides to a challenge. While transactional activity may pause there will be an increased demand in advisory work for what the change might mean for businesses. The key is to stay close to your clients and find out what their concerns and challenges are.’

The firm has recruited and promoted 14 partners in the last year, strengthening its offices in Birmingham, Manchester and London, having moved into its new office at Tower 42 in 2015. Rowe said the firm was leading an IT transformation programme as part of its digital strategy.

Other national firms to announce their financials have seen similar growth. Addleshaw Goddard posted a revenue bump of 5% up to £201.8m, while Pinsent Masons also grew turnover by 5% to £382.3m.

Posting results today (6 July) DAC Beachcroft saw subdued turnover growth of 2% to £202m, with profits up 9% to £35m.

matthew.field@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Business

Shoosmiths grows revenues 10% to pass £100m mark and return to pre-financial crisis high

Shoosmiths grows revenues 10% to pass £100m mark and return to pre-financial crisis high

National firm Shoosmiths has returned to its pre-financial crisis highs, breaking the £100m mark in revenues for the 2014/15 financial year and profit per equity partner (PEP) jumping 44% to £416,000.

Turnover at the top-50 firm grew 10% to £102.7m, returning to the level recorded in 2007/08 when the firm posted revenues of £103.4m and building on strong results last year which saw a 7% increase in revenue to £93m with PEP up 21% to £290,000.

The regionally-focused firm has also revealed it has taken permanent office space in London’s Tower 42, as of today (13 July). The firm has ten offices in total including the Tower 42 base, with its remaining nine offices spread across the UK in Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Northampton, Thames Valley, Basingstoke, Southampton and Edinburgh.

The firm’s chief executive Claire Rowe (pictured) said the ‘stellar results’ boil down to the firm’s ‘sustained investment’ that has largely contributed to the firm’s growth in headcount. In the last three years, the firm appointed 46 new partners and increased its Birmingham and Manchester office headcount to 224 staff and 152 staff respectively. Shoosmiths also recently appointed its first non-executive director, Jeremy Horner.

‘We have also invested in various infrastructure and IT initiatives and these have been reflected in recent years’ accounts,’ said Rowe. ‘We have focused on building strong relationships with our clients and gaining a reputation for delivering quality legal advice which enables us to grow organically, particularly through recommendation.’

In April, Shoosmiths announced all its partners will move to an all-equity partnership from 1 May 2015 with 76 salaried partners becoming fixed-share, bringing the total number of equity partners to 126. Some 92% of the existing salaried partners chose to become members of the LLP as fixed share equity partners with the remaining 8% staying as salaried partners.

jaishree.kalia@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

An opportunity to ‘get involved’: Shoosmiths to move to an all-equity partnership

An opportunity to ‘get involved’: Shoosmiths to move to an all-equity partnership

National law firm Shoosmiths will move to an all-equity partnership from 1 May 2015 with 76 salaried partners becoming fixed-share – and bringing the total number of equity partners to 126.

Some 92% of the existing salaried partners have chosen to become members of the LLP as fixed share equity partners with the remaining 8% staying as salaried partners.

Speaking to Legal Business, Shoosmiths chairman Andrew Tubbs said the decision was part of the firm’s three-year strategy to drive growth: ‘Currently our strategy runs from 2014 – 2017 and the key focus of that strategy is growth. We have a strategy committee and any strategy document doesn’t just sit there as a bit of paper – it evolves. The proposal to move on this basis came out of that committee then it went to a debate with the current fixed share and full equity partners and was voted on in that forum.’

The firm then carried out consultations with its salaried-partner group with the leadership team making presentations around the firm’s offices before salaried-partners were given the choice to join the membership.

Tubbs added: ‘Any decisions that require ordinary or special reservations of the LLP – those partners will now be involved in voting in those decisions. Strategically for example – where we merged with ACH in Scotland in 2012 – that sort of decision would be an opportunity for all those members to vote and get involved in debate.’

Taylor Wessing announced last week it is also set to convert into an all equity partnership on 1 May following a lengthy review and partnership vote. While others set to make the move to all equity structures include Mishcon de Reya this autumn, where current equity partners will become ‘senior equity partners’ and junior partners will become ‘junior equity partners’.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk