Fladgate underlined its ambition for growth - highlighted by its move to Covent Garden offices last year - with an 8 per cent rise in turnover for to £23.5m. Net profit and average profit per equity partner both fell, however, to £6.4m and £361,000 respectively, a reflection of the cost of its new property.
The corporate group strengthened its position, generating 45 per cent of total revenue compared with just 33 per cent by real estate. Fladgate chairman Charles Wander, appointed on 1 April, said he was pleased with stable results during a year of investment.
The partnership board also changed in April. It now consists of Wander, finance director John Goreing, HR director Jean Major and three departmental heads (Grant Gordon in corporate, Allen Cohen in real estate and Simon Ekins in litigation, who doubles as a finance partner). Former chairman of 20 years Paul Leese continues as a partner.
Fladgate’s full-owning partners are remunerated on a merit basis with no lockstep element. A remuneration committee assesses performance every two years. Profit awards are based on overall contributions, but weighted heavily towards rainmaking.
Fladgate’s debt increased over the past couple of years. It had a £500,000 capital call around 18 months ago in the form of held-back partner distributions. The firm also took out £2m in extra loans plus a separate £2m credit facility, which is now down to £500,000. The firm is aiming to be debt free by this calendar year.