Expansive Knights bounces back with 9% organic growth after another year of acquisitions

Expansive Knights bounces back with 9% organic growth after another year of acquisitions

Listed firm Knights has returned to form with a 9% organic growth in revenue to £59.7m in its half-year results.

This marks a significant reverse from its H1 results last year, when the firm conceded that a slew of acquisitions masked a 15% fall in turnover in real terms.

Knight’s buyouts of smaller firms continued apace this year though, with it strengthening in Yorkshire through the £11.5m purchase of Keebles, as well as expanding in the south east with the £5.3m acquisition of Mundays. The firm also entered the north east with the £5.2m takeover of Teeside-based Archers, completed in November. When including this raft of add-ons, revenue jumped by 29% for the period.

Knights attributed the organic upturn to improved client demand, as well as an expansion of its services. Chief executive David Beech (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘M&A was a big success for us in the past year – it’s been a boom period in that regard for most firms. But our entrance into Teeside we feel gives us a unique platform to take advantage of its new Freeport. The practice is modest in size, but big in opportunity.’

The firm saw its underlying profit before tax rise an impressive 26% to £7.6m and also boasted of ‘exceptionally strong cash conversion’ of 105%, up on the 103% reported this time last year.

According to Beech, Knights made 20 ‘senior level hires’ this year (including lawyers but also other professionals such as bankers), bringing with them significant client relationships which likewise boosted organic growth. This remains broadly consistent with the 18 such additions reported last year.

Beech said: ‘If you compare ourselves with previous years, we have recruited really well. Especially as we are in a very competitive period for partner-level recruitment. There’s a push away from the old partnership model, particularly from the next generation of lawyers. This has coincided with us being much surer of who we are as a brand – people read about us and appreciate our unique structure.’

As regards upcoming acquisitions, Beech said: ‘watch this space’. On that front, the firm has recently agreed a £60m revolving credit facility to create ‘significant headroom’, and ‘to continue to scale our business across the UK organically and through selected acquisitions.’

Tom.baker@legalbusiness.co.uk

Acquisitions mask decline in organic growth as Knights releases Covid-hit  H1  financials 

Acquisitions mask decline in organic growth as Knights releases Covid-hit  H1  financials 

Listed firm Knights may have posted a robust 45% rise in 2021 half-year revenues from £31.9m to £46.2m, but acknowledged that without its slew of acquisitions turnover dropped in real terms from the same period last year by £4.8m (15%).

The results came after a year in which Knights opened in Leeds through the £20.1m buyout of Shulmans, while also establishing a south east presence through the acquisition of ASB Law in a deal worth up to £8.5m. The £8m purchase of Nottingham-based Fraser Brown in February 2020 marked the firm’s tenth acquisition since its listing in June 2018.   Continue reading “Acquisitions mask decline in organic growth as Knights releases Covid-hit  H1  financials “

Quinn Emanuel defies crisis with striking 27% spike in City turnover

Quinn Emanuel defies crisis with striking 27% spike in City turnover

Showing no sign of pandemic-induced slowdown, US-bred dispute resolution specialist Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has hiked London revenues by 27% to reach £127.4m.

There was further cause for cheer for the firm as profits shot up 34% to around £91m, putting the office’s profit margin at an impressive 71%. Continue reading “Quinn Emanuel defies crisis with striking 27% spike in City turnover”

‘Things are looking pretty good’: DWF continues recovery with strong half-year results after tumultuous 2019/20

‘Things are looking pretty good’: DWF continues recovery with strong half-year results after tumultuous 2019/20

DWF has continued its recovery in 2020/21, according to the firm’s half-year results, following a torrid year that saw debts rise and underlying profit plunge. 

The results announced today (10 December) reveal net revenue standing at £167.6m for the H1 period ending 31 October, an impressive increase of 15% on the £145.2m the firm posted for the same period last year. The firm’s organic revenue growth, meanwhile, stood at 3% while gross profit recorded a double-digit hike, rising almost 14% to £83.1m.   Continue reading “‘Things are looking pretty good’: DWF continues recovery with strong half-year results after tumultuous 2019/20”

Cooley’s City base passes $70m revenue mark as global growth slows

Cooley’s City base passes $70m revenue mark as global growth slows

Cooley’s London outpost has outpaced the West Coast firm’s global revenue growth for the third consecutive year, rising 9% to $72.9m five years after its launch.

The results disclosed today (13 February) show a global revenue increase of 8% to $1.33bn while profits per equity partner (PEP) rose 6% to $2.54m in 2019. Continue reading “Cooley’s City base passes $70m revenue mark as global growth slows”

LLP accounts: Pension costs hurt CC profits as A&O leadership sees pay increases

LLP accounts: Pension costs hurt CC profits as A&O leadership sees pay increases

Operating profit at Clifford Chance (CC) UK LLP fell 5% to £260m in the year to 30 April 2019 amid rising pension costs while management at City rival Allen & Overy (A&O) saw a 8% pay rise to £16m, the two firms’ recently published accounts have revealed.

The fall in profits at CC’s LLP – which includes its UK headquarters and eight of its overseas branches – came despite a 4% global revenue increase to £1.693bn as the firm added £70m to its top line. Continue reading “LLP accounts: Pension costs hurt CC profits as A&O leadership sees pay increases”

Hong Kong drives H1 revenue at Ince by 125% following key partner hires amid expansive year

Hong Kong drives H1 revenue at Ince by 125% following key partner hires amid expansive year

Following the full integration of its consolidated businesses in the UK and China, Ince today (28 November) published revenues of £45.3m for the first half of 2019/2020 financial year, a 125% hike from 2018. Profit increased by 264% from £1.1m to £4m, while the firm also reported a net debt of £10.4m, an increase of £7.3m due to the working capital invested in lateral hires and the cost of integrating the businesses.

Group chief executive Adrian Biles told Legal Business: ‘The key growth areas include Hong Kong, where we have effectively doubled the size of our business in the period where we’ve had control.’ Continue reading “Hong Kong drives H1 revenue at Ince by 125% following key partner hires amid expansive year”

‘Another fantastic year’: Cooley City revenue surges 16% as global top line hits $1.23bn

‘Another fantastic year’: Cooley City revenue surges 16% as global top line hits $1.23bn

Cooley’s London branch has recorded another year of double-digit revenue growth as its top line grew 16% to $66.7m, four years after its launch.

For the second year in a row, the City office outpaced the Palo Alto-bred firm’s global revenue growth, as the latter rose 14% from $1.07bn to $1.23bn. Global profit per equity partner also grew 14% to $2.4m, while revenue per lawyer was up 8% to $1.3m. Continue reading “‘Another fantastic year’: Cooley City revenue surges 16% as global top line hits $1.23bn”

City revenues shoot up 16% after another bumper year for Quinn Emanuel

City revenues shoot up 16% after another bumper year for Quinn Emanuel

Disputes heavyweight Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has continued its impressive run of form in London as City revenues for 2018 shot up 16% to £83.6m.

The US-bred firm also saw profits rise 13% to £59.3m. As a result, Quinn’s London profit margin is consistent with the business globally at 70%. Quinn London co-managing partner Richard East told Legal Business: ‘We had a strong year last year after we added lateral partners and launched some key new practice areas, such as contentious tax and construction arbitration. To be up 16% with the same number of people was very pleasing.’  Continue reading “City revenues shoot up 16% after another bumper year for Quinn Emanuel”

Rampant Kirkland surges past Latham to become world’s top-billing law firm as PEP closes in on $5m

Rampant Kirkland surges past Latham to become world’s top-billing law firm as PEP closes in on $5m

Kirkland & Ellis has hiked revenues by more than $500m to overtake Latham & Watkins as the world’s highest-earning law firm, as revenues surged to $3.165bn.

The Chicago-bred giant today (22 March) announced its results for the 2017 financial year, confirmed a 19% hike in revenues against $2.65bn the previous year. Profit per equity partner (PEP) surged nearly 15%, to $4.7m from last year’s $4.1m, making it one of the world’s most profitable law firms. Headcount rose 13.5% to 1,997 lawyers, while revenues per lawyer increased 5.2% to $1.585m. Continue reading “Rampant Kirkland surges past Latham to become world’s top-billing law firm as PEP closes in on $5m”