With daily headlines reminding the City of the Brexit-induced crisis engulfing the UK, the Legal Business 100 (LB100) has shrugged off the pervasive uncertainty to post another year of robust growth.
Amid the increasing probability of the UK facing a wrenching ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU on the looming 31 October deadline, the LB100 results show the UK’s leading law firms driving collective revenues up 9% to £26.35bn. Continue reading “LB100 drives income up 9% to £26.35bn but fears mount of a chaotic no-deal as Brexit fallout spreads”
While the UK lurches through a Brexit drama entirely of its own making, mid-market and boutique London-based firms have focused on diversifying their services or using their unique offerings to differentiate themselves from the pack.
The combined turnover for the 18 City firms that sit in the second 50 of this year’s Legal Business 100 (LB100) is £839.7m, an increase of 8%. Average revenue increased 15%, reaching £46.7m. But, inevitably, the top-line growth of the firms in this group is distorted by some sizeable merger activity. Two of those firms have seen large jumps in revenue and headcount: Gordon Dadds, which after acquiring a large chunk of Ince & Co in 2018 and following its initial public offering (IPO) in 2017 – has seen turnover jump 68% from £31.2m to £52.6m under its new Ince branding (see case study). Bircham Dyson Bell, which merged with Reading stalwart Pitmans in December 2018, saw turnover climb from £33.7m to £52m as a result – a spike of 54%. With that level of artificial top-line growth, profit levels are hard to sustain. A 4% growth in the number of equity partners across the group has contributed to average profit per equity partner (PEP) only moving up 3% from £416,000 to £427,000. Continue reading “LB100 Second 50 – City and Boutique: The adventurers and the settlers”
Smaller regional and national firms have gained ground on their London rivals in this year’s Legal Business 100 (LB100) after years of the productivity gap widening in favour of the City. And, as some of the strongest performers from the 32 regional firms in the 51-100 bracket have shown, a big part of the shift has come from a growing trend of partnering up with law’s global elite to effectively provide northshoring outposts for blue-chip clients.
Following a muted period and just 1% growth last year, the group’s collective revenue rose a solid 7% to £1.36bn in 2018/19, for an average revenue of £42.4m. The productivity per capita at regional firms, traditionally weaker than London counterparts, also grew where City firms lagged this year, closing a gap that had been steadily widening. Revenue per lawyer climbed 9% to £197,000, compared to an almost flat £267,000 in London. Profit per lawyer stayed flat at £38,000, against £78,000 in the City, which was down 6%. Profit per equity partner (PEP), however, slid 5% to £339,000. Continue reading “LB100 Second 50 – Regional focus: Crawling on a razor”