Bircham expenses blamed for PEP dip

Bircham Dyson Bell

has posted a turnover of £31.5m for 2006-07, up 7 per cent from last year’s £30.1m. But average profit per equity partner (PEP) is projected to slump by around 12 per cent, from £310,000 to £270,000.

Managing partner Guy Vincent said the results did fall slightly short of expectations, but that the top line was affected by investments made throughout the year, including the firm’s reclamation of the fourth floor of its office.

The City firm forked out more than £1m for the office’s fourth floor, which had been sublet since Bircham first occupied the offices in November 2001. The floor was taken back at the end of 2006 and has since been renovated and refurbished. Bircham’s top line also felt the pinch of losing its rental income.

Going forward, Vincent added that the firm is expecting 10 per cent growth on its turnover figure for the next 12-month period, led by expansion in its corporate practice.

Growth will also be fuelled by the firm’s planning, public law and projects outfit, which is projected to expand by 10 per cent over the next year.

Vincent said the firm aims to continue its investment programme with a number of lateral hires throughout the year.