UK top 200 ranking: 87 (Howard Kennedy), 119 (Finers Stephens Innocent)
HowardKennedyFSI is the product of a merger between legacy West End outfits Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent, which went live on 1 February 2013, creating a firm with £45.4m turnover that is set to break into the The Lawyers's top 60 in 2012–13.
The new firm has around 351 staff, including 88 partners, 194 lawyers and 125 fee-earners.
HowardKennedyFSI chief executive officer Mark Dembovsky has told The Lawyer that there will be no large-scale reduction of fee-earners and that delays to completing the merger, which was originally due to go live on 1 November 2012, stem from issues with “back-office alignment”.
For Howard Kennedy the 2011–12 financial year saw the firm's turnover fall by six per cent, from £29.5m to £27.8m. Net profit was also down, by 15 per cent, from £4m to £3.4m. The firm’s 13 equity partners, though, took home an average profit per equity partner of £269,000 compared with £250,000 the previous year.
One reason for the drop in revenue was the loss in March 2011 of the three-partner projects team that the firm gained in November 2008 when it merged with DMA Legal. The team accounted for £1.1m in fees for 2010–11, so the firm is looking to replace the renewables capability that it lost.
Meanwhile, turnover crept up at FSI from £17m to 17.6m in 2011–12, signalling a strong performance for the firm in in its final year as a standalone practice.
Howard Kennedy’s strengths in private client, retail, capital trusts and funds were seen as key selling points to boost FSI’s offering and clientele in these areas, according to the latter’s managing partner Paul Millett.
Property continued to be the mainstay at Howard Kennedy in 2011–12, accounting for 51 per cent of revenue in 2011–12, despite the redundancies of six non-equity partners in the group in 2012.
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Overview179 Great Portland Street
Turnover (£m): 45.4
No of lawyers: 194