08:55, July 03 264 0

2017-07-03 08:55:10
Shoosmiths posts 17 per cent rise in profit but PEP stays static

Shoosmiths has announced a 17 per cent rise in profit to £29.3m and a fifth consecutive year-on-year turnover growth of 9 per cent to £116.7m.

The firm’s net profit rose from £24.3m while revenue posted a healthy growth of nine per cent from £107m, more than double last year’s turnover increase.

Profit per equity partner (PEP) has remained largely static, showing a rise of just £1,000 to £366,000.

This figure may have been impacted by the firm’s hires last year: 20 new partners in total, four of which were full-equity partners. These additions take the firm’s total number to 40.5.

Despite investment in agile working spaces, lateral hires and a number of new offices including Manchester, Belfast and Leeds, the firm has seen a drop in borrowing for the second year running from £7.6m to £7.3m.

An equity restructure, which went live on 1 May 2015 and saw a majority of salaried partners made up to full-equity, resulted in modest growth in the 2015/16 financial year.

This year’s results show an improvement on last year but fall short of the firm’s exceptional 2014/15 year, when turnover smashed the £100m barrier for the first time, profit rose by 37 per cent and average PEP grew by 44 per cent.

Particular highlights for the corporate team included advising LDC on it’s acquisition of ByBox, advising Octopus Venutres on its investment in myTomorrows and acting for the British Retail Consortium on its sale of BRC Global Standards to the LGC Group.

While the firm is historically led by its real estate practice, Shoosmiths has seen a strong increase in its corporate work as income rose by 14 per cent across the sector. Within that, restructuring and insolvency grew by 36 per cent.

Shoosmiths CEO Claire Rowe said that while the firm had experienced a minor stall in business in light of last year’s Brexit vote, Shoosmiths was “really proud” of its performance to maintain PEP, increase overall profitability and improve its client experience.

Rowe said: “A lot of feedback we’re getting from out clients is around the theme of agility. Manchester was the third office to go fully agile and we’re working towards achieving this in our Nottingham office, too.”

“We’ve managed to maintain PEP while investing heavily in infrastructure, offices and the partnership so to have done this is excellent. Our strategy is all about being famous for the client experience. We’ll continue to grow while investing in agile working and enable ways to help our clients work more collaboratively with our lawyers.”

Rowe continued by stating that she was eager to develop other areas of Shoosmiths’ practice as the firm seeks to develop a broader and more diversified portfolio while not turning its back on areas that have been strong in the past.

Rowe said: “There will be further investment in all of our areas, as well as the corporate practice but we aren’t looking to give an all-embracing offering. It’s all about the client experience and developing a strong, holistic and organic model for the future.”

“While real estate has been our main strength, we now have a growing strength in depth across our portfolio. In such a challenging market, this is in itself a strength. Not many firms like us still have a private client sector but this saw good growth in the last year and helps to support our diverse business model.”