Slater & Gordon announces 56 per cent profit growth

Australian firm Slater & Gordon, which last year became the first law firm in the world to float on a stock exchange, has increased profit by more than half since its IPO.

Slater floated on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASE) for A$35m (£16.4m) in May, and announced profit after tax this week of A$6.9m (£3.2m), up 56 per cent on the previous year.

Slater directors have declared an interim dividend of 2.0 cents per share.

The blockbusting profit figure follows a string of six law firm acquisitions since the float which have helped increase turnover in the same period by a quarter, from A$29,881 to A$37,414.

Last month Slater secured the personal injury and professional negligence practices of Quinn & Scattini Lawyers (as reported on www.thelawyer.com, 18 January 2008).

The ten-strong team, which generate annual revenues of approximately A$3m, will join Slater’s Brisbane and Gold Coast offices.

In November last year Slater snared Crane Butcher Mckinnon, Nagle & McGuire and Edwin Abdo & Associates, having already acquired D-Arcys Solicitors in July and McClellands in August.

Slater’s progress will be closely watched by law firms in England and Wales, which were given the green light to seek external funding or to float by the Legal Services Act.

The Law Society of Scotland has also just finished a consultation on allowing law firms the right to float. Its findings will be presented to the Scottish Parliament in May.

On www.thelawyer.com – In an exclusive special report, Slater & Gordon chief operating officer Mike Feehan tells The Lawyer about the firm’s IPO experience.