Hourly charge-out rates for partners at Bevan Ashford's West Country profit centre have gone up - but only to £180.
A review at the firm has just settled on a new range, climbing from £60 for a legal executive to £180 for top partners, such as West Country chairman and company and commercial partner Simon Rous. The new rates undercut many rivals in the South West, let alone London firms.
"We reckon our charge-out rates are very competitive," said Rous.
Bevan Ashford's range for company and commercial last year was between £60 and £165. Associates in the department are now charged out at £150, up from £140. A number of solicitors in the group have remained static at £140, while others have climbed from £110 to £125.
The decision follows a strong financial performance by the Exeter, London, Plymouth, Taunton and Tiverton offices, which saw turnover climb more than 14 per cent to £14.2m. The separate Bristol, Birmingham and London (BBL) profit centre billed £28.4m, pushing firmwide turnover up by 14 per cent on last year to £42.6m. Trading profit across the firm increased by 13 per cent to £13.1m.
The BBL side of the firm was hit by the decline in work from the National Health Service Litigation Authority (NHSLA), but in other areas turnover rose by 33 per cent.