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This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
National firms TLT and Weightmans have both reported audited rises in turnover and profit, with little change in debt levels, for the 2012/13 financial year.
The two firms were among the latest to file LLP accounts at Companies House last week.
TLT’s LLP accounts show a rise in profit and turnover following the firm’s launch in Northern Ireland in May 2012 and its acquisition of Scottish firm Anderson Fyfe on 1 July 2012 (9 May 2012). The accounts show that the Scottish merger cost the firm £217,000 in cash, with another £1.2m contributed to TLT by new partners and counted as the ‘assumption of amounts owed to members’.
The firm reported a turnover of £48.2m in 2012/13, a rise of 11 per cent from £43.4m the previous year. Net profit was up 30 per cent, from £9.4m to £12.2m. The accounts show that salaried partners were allocated £5.1m of profits, up from £4.9m in 2011/12, while equity partners shared out £7.1m, an increase of 58 per cent from £4.5m the previous year.
The number of partners at TLT increased by 11 year-on-year, from 65 in 2011/12 to 76. The amount due to the member with the largest entitlement to profit went up 27 per cent, from £293,000 to £373,000.
TLT’s cash in the bank doubled last year, from £143,000 to £286,000. Total bank borrowings were essentially unchanged, staying stable at £6.3m. Less than half this amount - £2.6m - is due within a year. The firm’s net debt rose slightly, from £9.5m to £9.7m, during 2012/13.
Since the year-end, the firm has consulted its fixed-share partners on a cash call to address HM Revenue & Customs’ changes to national insurance (10 February 2014).
The picture at Weightmans was similar. Turnover rose 5.4 per cent, to £81.7m from £77.5m in 2011/12. Net profit was up 13 per cent, from £20.9m to £23.6m.
The firm’s headcount rose substantially during the year, from 933 people in 2011/12 to 994 last year. Staff costs also rose, from £33.5m to £35m. However the average number of LLP members was static at 146. The amount due to the highest-paid member rose by 20 per cent, from £322,000 to £385,000.
Weightmans reduced its total borrowings slightly during the year, from £10.2m in 2011/12 to £9.7m last year. Its overdraft dropped by £744,000, but bank loans rose by just under £400,000. With a £483,000 reduction in cash in the bank, this meant the firm’s net debt rose only minimally, from £9.2m to £9.3m.