This will be Davies Arnold Cooper’s (DAC) final year in its current form in The Lawyer’s UK 200. In November 2011 the firm plans to merge with top 30 firm Beachcroft. The newly merged entity, to be known as DAC Beachcroft, will have some 230 partners, 2,000 staff and an amalgamated turnover of £175m.
Despite the January 2008 takeover of KSB Law, which added £8m to the firm’s top line, DAC has struggled to grow organically. In 2009-10 turnover dropped by 2 per cent, from £45m to £44.1m, with average profit per equity partner falling from £361,000 to £278,000. Growth continued to elude the firm last year, with turnover falling by just under 3 per cent, from £44.1m to £43m.
Net profit, which plummeted by almost 26 per cent in 2009-10, also continued to dip, dropping by 3.5 per cent to £7.72m. Consequently, PEP also headed south by 3.6 per cent, from £278,000 to £268,000, with partners at the top and bottom of equity making £441,000 and £147,000 respectively. The firm’s profit margin remained static at 18 per cent.
DAC has a tightly held equity, with just 29 out of 74 partners being owners of the business. Of these, 13 partners are female, with three being full equity.
DAC, which has particular focus on the insurance sector, counts Axa, Munich Re and Zurich as key clients.