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After its stellar performance in recent years we expected more from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP). While its turnover rise of 10.1 per cent rise in turnover is hardly disastrous, it represents a massive slowdown on the previous two years, when turnover grew by 16 per cent and 19 per cent.
Clearly BLP has been hit by terrible market conditions in its core real estate market, but the figures seem to confirm a general feeling that the firm has lost the momentum of its mid-millennium burst. For most firms that grow rapidly over a five-year period there will be a period of consolidation – but has BLP lost its way?
Managing partner Neville Eisenberg denies this: “Last year we invested considerable amounts in a variety of areas, for example we completed the refurbishment of Adelaide House, invested nearly £12m in building our international relationships and continued to invest in making BLP a better place to work.”
But hang on a second. £12m? T-W-E-L-V-E million in building international relationships? That’s a hell of a lot of airmiles to splash out on making a few non-exclusive best friends.
Eisenberg’s management has been almost flawless during his period in charge, but has hit a wall on the international front. After the failure of the exclusive relationship with US firm Kramer Levin, Eisenberg seems to have settled on a strategy of making as many friends in as many places throughout the world.
This international strategy has come in for a lot of stick, with most of the projects group voting for it with their feet. Eisenberg insists this is vitally important, but if £12m really has been spent on this exercise, the suspicion remains that his attention may have been drawn away from his home market.
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13-June-2008, Trowers & Hamlins: set back, or de-railed?
12-June-2008, Stephenson Hardwood: joining the club
11-June-2008, Ward Hadaway, Leeds and Hoyle: the long game
10-June-2008, Lewis Silkin: credit where due?
09-June-2008, Freshfields: equity cull pays off
06-June-2008, Martineau Johnson: mission accomplished?
05-June-2008, Addleshaw Goddard: babies and bathwater
04-June-2008, Technology firms: RPP reveals all
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30-May-2008, Berwin Leighton Paisner: could do better
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28-May-2008, FFW: surprise performer
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