Lovells reaps rewards of poor pound as rivals toil

The first financial results from firms in the top 10 have started trickling out, with the massive impact of sterling’s decline against the euro and the dollar helping bolster Lovells’ 2008-09 revenue figure.

Ashurst and Eversheds have also posted their results, with the former reporting a drop in revenue of 7 per cent, while the latter’s turnover dropped by 5 per cent and average profit per equity partner (PEP) fell by 26.8 per cent.

Lovells posted a rise in revenue of 11 per cent to £531m. However, as just 42 per cent of the firm’s revenue is now generated in the UK, firmwide managing partner David Harris said that, if the currency effect was stripped out of the results, the firm’s turnover would have grown by between 1 and 2 per cent.

“Given that so much of our business is now coming from outside the UK, our revenue figure has been inflated, but our costs figure has also been inflated,” he said.

After taking home an average of £661,000 last year, the firm’s equity partners will this year receive an average of £585,000. This takes the firm’s PEP back below 2006-07 levels, when PEP stood at £599,000. Last year the firm saw PEP rise by 10.5 per cent.

At Ashurst turnover fell from £323m at the end of the 2007-08 financial year to £301m.

While the firm is yet to announce its PEP figure, managing partner Simon Bromwich said Ashurst is prepared for a decline in profit.

At Eversheds PEP fell from £552,000 in 2007-08 to £404,000 during the last financial year. Turnover dropped from £390m to £366m.

The results are in marked contrast to last year’s, when the firm witnessed a 10 per cent increase in both revenue and PEP.