Top of the Peps

As well as breaking news stories on TheLawyer.com, our Top of the PEPs blog will provide you with The Lawyer’s unique brand of incisive ­commentary on the state of each firm.

The business end

Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley’s mantra is ‘business, business, ­business’. But, as with many businesses in the current climate, Hammonds has gone downhill in the past year.

Hammonds blames its strategy for its poor average profit per equity partner (PEP) performance – a 9 per cent drop to £367,000. Well, someone has to pay for the hefty investment involved in centralising billing systems and refurbishing its Birmingham, Manchester and Madrid offices – and it’s not going to be the clients.

So as the partners dig deep, how in line with its strategy is Hammonds? It’s now more than two years since it began implementing the results of the strategy review conducted by tax partner Bernhard Gilbey.

Global turnover has increased by 3.4 per cent to £132m (pretty much the same percentage increase as the previous year), but Hammonds’ performance leaves a lot to be desired.
Posted 3 July

Hire and hire

So Simmons & Simmons has put its profitability woes firmly to bed – boosting
its average PEP by 22 per cent to £647,000 and smashing through its £600,000 target.

A far cry from the story in 2004 when the firm was forced to axe 11 partners to raise its PEP, which at £275,000 was well below its rivals’. Back then paltry partner income led to a mini partner exodus, with IP head Helen Newman, corporate partners Steven Bryan and Ed Lukins, energy head Jerry Walter and banking head Nicholas Fisher all departing.

These days Simmons is a far tastier proposition for up-and-coming partners. No wonder managing partner Mark Dawkins is bullish about the future. Watch this space for more Simmons hires before summer is out.
Posted 3 July