Clarke Willmott hires herald double-digit profit boost

Bristol-headquartered Clarke Willmott has generated a double-digit rise on both fee income and profit per equity partner (PEP) during a year in which it has taken on new teams in Bristol and Birmingham but downsized in Taunton.

Fee income rose by 18 per cent to £39.4m for the 2005-06 financial year, up from £33.4m last year. PEP increased by 17 per cent to £252,000, up from £215,000 the previous year.

The figures were in line with predictions made by managing partner David Sedgwick, who told The Lawyer (6 March) that he expected the firm’s PEP figure for this year to break the £250,000 barrier.

Clarke Willmott has been busy expanding its operations this year through a large number of lateral hires. At the start of the financial year the firm’s Bristol office scooped Pinsent Masons’ entire property team consisting of six lawyers. Meanwhile, in April this year it took over the Birmingham office of Heatons, including three partners.

However, the firm’s Taunton operation lost its conveyancing arm to Foot Anstey because of the conflicts with the firm’s housebuilder clients.