Bevan Brittan imposes lock-in on partnership

Bevan Brittan has vowed to improve its cashflow as it reinforces a partnership agreement that bars more than three partners from leaving in the coming year.

Following the departures of six partners during the last year, chief executive Stuart Whitfield said it was agreed at a meeting in April to keep partners locked into the firm.

The firm will also look to improve its cashflow in a bid to achieve a 37 per cent net profit increase for 2008-09.

The latest limited-liability partnership accounts reveal that the firm cut a property deal that more than doubled profit, from £7.4m to £17m. Without the deal the firm’s 52 partners would have recorded a profit per equity partner ;of ;£142,000 compared with £377,919.

Several partners have earned bonuses from the property reinvestment deal completed by the firm following its demerger from Ashfords in 2004. When the deal was struck all full equity partners and fixed-share partners were given the option of participating.

Whitfield warned ex-partners: “As long as they behave themselves after they’ve gone they’re entitled to future money from that.”

He said they could potentially draw down a further bonus from the leaseback deal, but partners had opted to be “prudent” and the sum would be a tax reserve for each partner participating.