BLM to open Lloyd’s of London desk

Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP (BLM) is to open a desk in the Lloyd’s of London building, its second office in the City. 

The move is sign of the firm attempting to grow its specialist insurance out practice by plugging into the subscription insurance market. The office will be home to three partners full time and a further ten who will divide their time between the offices. It will be led by London market head Jennette Newman, who was recently elected London senior partner.

She said in a statement: “We took the decision to open an office in EC3 as a direct response to the material increase in work we are receiving, in addition to receiving feedback from many of our clients who want a team of locally based specialists at the heart of the market. Accessibility for them, and us, is key”.

Newman added that the firm wants to boost the profile its insurance specialists across multiple sectors, saying the latest move complemented its existing offering across the UK and Ireland.

BLM’s first opening outside the UK was in Dublin at the end of last year (1 October 2012).

The firm saw turnover rise at the 2012/13 year-end by 4.3 per cent from £81.2m to £84.7m. Despite the rise in revenue however, net profit slid 8 per cent from £15.1m to £13.9m and average profit per partner (PEP) dropped by 13 per cent from £248,000 to £215,000.

Senior partner Mike Brown said the firm continued to ”observe a downward pressure on fees, with a greater volume of cases for less money and strong demand for advice on a fixed fee basis”. The firm’s profit margin has been squeezed to 16 per cent compared with 18.5 per cent in 2011/12.

Brown was elected in March last year (27 March 2012) succeeding Terry Renouf who had grown turnover by 75 per cent from £45m at the 2005/06 year-end to £78.8m at the 2010/11 year-end during six years in the job.

The latest figures do not include revenue generated by BLM’s new Dublin office as it is currently a separate legal entity (1 October 2012).