Eversheds' commercial practice is growing at the expense of its corporate department, the firm's annual report for 1998-1999 shows.
The report shows the corporate department contributed £34.9m to the firm's overall turnover of £177.5m for the period.
While this was an increase of £31.8m on 1997-1998, the corporate department only made a 20 per cent contribution to the overall growth of the firm, a decline of 2 per cent on the previous year.
In contrast, Eversheds' commercial department ach-ieved a turnover of £25.3m, a 75.6 per cent increase and made a 14 per cent contribution to the firm.
Andrew Latchmore, managing partner for client services, says the drop in contribution could be attributed to the fact that a number of corporate lawyers have moved to the commercial department to help bolster its growth.
“We have taken good people out of corporate to provide the grains to grow the commercial practice,” he says.
Latchmore says Eversheds is not concerned about the figures for its corporate capability. “Corporate shows that we are stronger than ever,” he says.
Across the rest of Eversheds' practice areas – including litigation and property – there has been a marked increase in performance. The firm overall gained £40.4m worth of net profits, compared to £35.6m last year.
The report also shows that partners' profits reached an average of £211,000 – an increase of £20,000 on 1997-1998 when partners' profits averaged £191,000.
Investment in IT, training and product development reached £6.5m, a rise of £1.5m over 1997-1998.
Latchmore says: “We are developing training systems so younger lawyers can be involved at a more high value level, where there is interesting and demanding work.”