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Cobbetts has hit its turnover target for 2001-2002, despite investing heavily in the merger with Leeds firm Read Hind Stewart in the second half of the financial year
The firm's turnover rose 15 per cent, from £15.7m to £18m, over the financial year. Profits per partner were £210,000, a modest 4 per cent rise. The figures do not include Read Hind's results. Managing partner Michael Shaw said that the firm had only budgeted for a modest increase in turnover and profits because of the bad year that the corporate departments of most firms will have experienced in the past 12 months. "The defining moment of this year was when corporate fell off the ledge in October," Shaw explained. He added that corporate had made some recovery in the second half of the financial year. According to Shaw, the high level of investment in the Read Hind merger, which went live on 1 May this year, could also be blamed for the modest rise in income. "It is the loss of fee-earning capacity rather than cash investment that made the merger a big investment," Shaw said. Last month Cobbetts hired one partner and one partner designate, Ian Worthington and Chris Ramage respectively, from Irwin Mitchell in Leeds to shore up its corporate capability in the North East. Shaw said the majority of the cash investment that the firm had put into the Leeds merger had gone on lateral hires.