After Spalding-headquartered firm Roythornes appeared to be largely recession-proof in 2009-10, the past financial year saw its turnover fall from £10.6m to £9m, with net profit also dropping slightly, from £3.3m to £2.9m.
Head of the firm’s management board Vember Mortlock said the decline has been the result of a quiet period in major practice areas, including property and personal injury, although its other core area of agriculture has remained comparatively buoyant.
Despite the slide Roythornes made a conscious decision to improve its profitability last year. This took the shape of a restructuring, including redundancies, and a plan to boost partners’ efficiency.
The firm also introduced merit-based remuneration in the past year, scrapping its lockstep in favour of annual partner appraisals by an equity review committee.
While it is still early days, Mortlock is confident that the changes are helping the firm turn a corner. Last year Roythornes’ profit margin rose slightly, from 31 to 32 per cent.