London firm Fladgate took out a £1m loan to fund its move to a new office near Covent Garden, its 2009-10 LLP accounts have revealed.
The loan - part of a revolving credit facility to fund the relocation to Great Queen Street secured against partners’ fixed capital - contributed to the amount to be paid to creditors within the current financial year rising 70 per cent from £2m to £3.4m.
Turnover between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010 fell 7.4 per cent to £21.4m while operating profit dropped 5.2 per cent from £9.7m to £9.2m.
The fall in profit came despite the firm cutting operating expenses by 9 per cent to £12.2m. Most of the savings were made in staff costs, which were slashed 18 per cent from £8.7m to £7.1m
Total staff numbers fell from 153 to 135, fee-earners from 55 to 49, and support staff from 98 to 86. The number of partners rose by two to 46 and the profit share of the highest member was down 4 per cent to £572,200.
In recent years Fladgate has made efforts to distance itself from the ‘West End property’ tag - evidenced in its move from Mayfair - and corporate is now the firm’s highest earning practice, accounting for around 45 per cent of income.
In 2010 the firm made a number of partner hires including Halliwells’ former head of London real estate Kim McMurray, former Harbottle & Lewis managing partner Lawrence Abramson and ex Forsters corporate head Jeremy Whiteson (10 September 2010).