DWF profits race ahead despite consolidation and investment
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NATIONAL law firm DWF has reported a jump in net profits after a “year of consolidation” and investment following a dramatic growth spurt which saw four mergers and an acquisition in the previous 18 months.
The Manchester headquartered firm, which has 12 offices nationwide including Liverpool, Leeds, Preston and Birmingham said net profits leapt 23% to £25.5m. Revenues were up a more modest 2% to £191m.
Over the last 10 years the firm, now one of the 25 largest in the country, has defied challenging market conditions to grow its top line 543% from £29.4m in 2004.
The firm said a result of hiring or promoting eight new equity partner s, there had been a 4% fall in profits per equity partner, from £429,000 in 2012/13 to £411,000 in 2013/14.
Managing partner and chief executive Andrew Leaitherland said: “This year has been one of major consolidation as we’ve worked hard to fully integrate five separate businesses into DWF, and it’s a real sign of the strength of the business that we’ve been able to increase our net profit and revenue during this time.
“We’ve invested £12m in technology to drive major operational efficiencies and support the integration of all of our people. We’ve also invested heavily in attracting and retaining the best talent for the benefit of the firm and its clients. We’re driving a significant transformation of our business which has required exceptional large-scale investments over the last year and which are strategically important in achieving our vision.”
The firm said its best performing divisions by fee income were: corporate and banking (up 18% to £30m), real estate (up 14% to £29m) and insurance (up 3% to £89m).
Mr Leaitherland added: “We are a firm that has transformed itself in the last 12-18 months with important strategic investments designed to build a strong platform to support our vision and future growth plans. We have plenty of ambition and drive to continue this transformation in pursuit of our strategy to build a strong, sustainable business delivering client service excellence through innovative use of technology and sector insight.”