Insurance specialist Berrymans Lace Mawer (BLM) posted double-digit growth across the board in 2010-11. Turnover was up by 15.5 per cent on 2009-10, from £69.4m to £78.8m. Average profit per equity partner, which dipped by almost 11 per cent in 2009-10 as a result of its growing membership, rebounded, rising by 32 per cent to £293,000. Net profit also grew, from £13m in 2009-10 to £17.6m in 2010-11.
The firm converted to a legal disciplinary partnership in June, which means it can accept external investment from next year.
But the change was made, ostensibly at least, so that BLM could promote non-lawyer Alistair Kinley, head of policy development at the firm, into the equity. The conversion is a formality insisted upon by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and has little or no impact on the firm’s structure.
BLM has four partners on its management team, including senior partner Terry Renouf (who has been in the post for five years), as well the firm’s finance and HR directors. The firm’s strategy has been to take on an industry sector and expand within it. BLM starts by taking a narrow range of instructions from a client and then seeks to develop on that. The retail and leisure sectors as well as construction are areas the firm is looking to grow. It has also been expanding its catastrophic injuries practice.
BLM operates a modified lockstep, with pay decided by a remuneration committee, which looks at partners’ financial contributions as well as softer factors.