Firms lift lid on earnings

DIBB Lupton Broomhead has emerged as the highest-earning legal firm in The Lawyer's analysis of its most comprehensive list of financial figures supplied by the profession.

The firm brought in u56 million last financial year to head a list of those prepared to give income details.

Dibbs was followed by Leeds-based Hammond Suddards with u33 million. Hammonds was also the fastest-growing firm, with annual growth of 18.5 per cent.

The table of high-earners is dominated by City names including Baker & McKenzie and Davies Arnold Cooper. Leaders in the growth table include Fennemores of Milton Keynes (14 per cent).

Figures on earnings and growth were supplied by 19 out of the Top 100 firms.

Lawyers say well-run practices are cashing in on clients' willingness to “shop around”.

David McIntosh, senior partner with Davies Arnold Cooper, says: “When new business comes along, you have a beauty parade, but these are a wonderful opportunity for a firm to get work that might previously have gone elsewhere.”

Stuart Benson, business development partner with Dibbs, says: “It is a good time for the few that get it right.”

Firm size correlates with income. Dibbs is 9th in the Top 100, Hammonds 15th. Baker & McKenzie, Davies Arnold Cooper and Shoosmiths & Harrison, ranked 44th, 22nd and 18th in size, were third, fourth and fifth in the earnings table.

DJ Freeman (55th), is sixth in the fees table, Booth & Co (28th) seventh, Penningtons (37th) eighth, Bevan Ashford (35th) ninth and Addleshaw Sons & Latham (74th) tenth.

Other firms which supplied figures were Manches & Co (fees u12m), Charles Russell (u12m), Withers (u10.5m), Speechly Bircham (u9.7m), Wedlake Bell and Cobbett Leak Almond (both u9m), Donne Mileham & Haddock and Lester Aldridge (both u6.2m) and Fennemores (u5.1m).