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Turnover at Hammonds continued to decline in the 2009-10 financial year, falling by 6 per cent to £117.8m.
That said, the firm fared better in terms of net profit and average profit per equity partner (PEP). After reporting a 25 per cent fall in PEP in 2008-09, the figure rose by 32 per cent to £364,000 in 2009-10, though the firm’s equity partnership was reduced from 73 to 62 during the same period.
The firm increased its profits by 17.1 per cent to £22.6m. Driving down costs has been high on the firm’s agenda and 77 staff members lost their jobs in February 2009 (3 February 2009). A number of partners have also left the firm including construction partner Rupert Cowen, Berlin-based real estate partner Martin Fleckenstein and Leeds employment partner Mark Shrives-Wright (2 October 2009).
Earlier this year the firm closed its Munich base after losing five lawyers to Eversheds (23 February 2010), and also enforced sabbaticals for all associates in its corporate department (8 June 2009).
Managing partner Peter Crossley said: “We’re pleased with where we ended up. It was certainly at the upper end of our expectations, particularly when one looks at the challenging situation we were faced with a year ago.”
He added: “Despite the redundancies we invested quite considerably in the last quarter and have started growing again and increasing the partnership in key areas.”
Crossley said that employment, pensions and litigation continued to perform well, while the firm’s office in Belgium grew turnover by 7 per cent and in China by 6 per cent. The firm will continue to invest in its energy and utilities practices, as well as “international marketing initiatives” in the UK and US.