Wedlake Bell has seen its revenue boosted by 49.4 percent in 2012/13 after its April 2012 merger with Cumberland Ellis (1 February 2012).
Profit per partner (PEP) also shot up a remarkable 140 per cent, from £135,000 in 2011/12 to £324,000 this year. Despite partner headcount rising from 38 to 52 (36.8 per cent), and the number of equity partners increasing from 16 to 20.8 (30 per cent), the proportion of partners in the equity remained relatively stable – shuffling from 42.1 per cent to 40 per cent.
Net profit at the firm in 2012/13 jumped up from £2.2m to £6.74m.
The positive results are a sea change for the firm, which has seen its revenue and profits diminish in recent years. Wedlake Bell’s turnover gradually dropped from £19.8m in 2008/09 to £18m in 2011/12, while its PEP fell from £244,000 in 2009/10 to £135,000 last year.
The merger, which took effect on 1 April 2012, bumped up the number of fee-earners at Wedlake Bell by almost a quarter, from 99 to 122.
Despite all the changes, the firm’s key practice areas remained relatively static with private equity and property work continuing to bring in the bulk of Wedlake Bell’s turnover. Partner headcount has increased across the board at the firm, with private client seeing a particular rise from 13 to 18 over the past year. Litigation has almost virtually doubled, growing in size from six to 11 partners.
Firm management was unavailable for comment.