Weightmans has recorded a 21 per cent rise in profits as turnover remained static at £95m for the second year in a row, 2016/17 financial results show.
After the announcement of its 2015/16 results, the firm vowed to overhaul its business strategy and this resulted in turnover rising from £9m to £11m.
This is the first year of static revenue since the 2011/12 financial year, when the firm kickstarted a trend of steady growth following a 32.5 per cent boost in turnover caused by mergers that brought the firms turnover from £58.2m to £77.1m.
The firm hasn’t posted its figures for profit per equity partner (PEP) for last year, but has seen a gradual decline since 2012/13. That year, PEP stood at £338,000 falling to £248,000 in 2015/16.
These figures are also the first since the firm began a major strategic review which saw management roles reduced by more than a third and practice area heads drop from 20 to 13. That review saw the firm split into two wings; one to handle legal operations and the other focusing on client relationships.
After a profitable merger with Leeds-based Ford & Warren in 2015, the firm’s figures could have received a significant boost from a proposed merger with Ward Hadaway. This would have brought combined turnover to £130m. The firm’s cited a difference in strategy as its reason for concluding talks after four months.
A new office in London, combined with signing contracts for a new Manchester office, is likely to see the firm continue to grow in the next year.
Weightmans managing partner John Schorah said: “This is a good result in a year which was both challenging but rewarding – we invested heavily in new technology, office space and staff development, whilst managing to control our costs and maintaining excellent client service.
“As is expected from the changing legal environment, we continue to see some reduction in revenue from a proportion of our volume defendant claims areas. At the same time however we are seeing some fantastic growth in a number of areas including in Claims as we continue to develop the business to suit these changing client requirements.”
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