Withers reports UK turnover and profit rise for 2011/12

Withers’ UK LLP accounts have shown a rise in both profit and revenue for the 2011/12 financial year, as well as a £2.4m increase in bank loans.

The accounts, filed at Companies House for the firm’s UK and Swiss operations – but excluding its US, Italian, British Virgin Island and Hong Kong offices – show that the firm brought in turnover of £80.5m in the last financial year, up 6 per cent from 2010/11 when revenue hit £75.7m.

Net profits rose from £19m to £20.4m, an increase of 7 per cent, with a slight rise in profit margin from 25 per cent in 2010/11 to 25.3 per cent last year. However, due to £1.86m in actuarial losses in 2011/12 and £129,000 in gains in the previous year, the total recognised gains for the period dropped from £19.1m to £18.6m.

Withers’ staff costs rose by £3.8m in 2011/12 after the number of lawyers and support staff rose from 405 in 2010/11 to 443 last year. The firm had 76 LLP members in the last financial year, down by one from the previous year.

The highest-paid member in 2011/12 received £526,630, a drop of just under 3 per cent from £541,418 received by the highest-paid member in 2010/11.

The firm’s overdrafts and bank loans due within one year rose from £15.7m in 2010/11 to £18.1m in 2011/12. Coupled with increases in trade creditors, tax and social security creditors and accruals and deferred income, creditors’ amounts due within a year for the LLP rose by £4m and for the group by £3.7m.

However, an £800,000 decrease in bank loans and a £150,000 drop in accruals due after one year helped the amount due to long-term creditors drop by almost £1m.

Turnover for Withers’ worldwide operations rose by 12 per cent last year, according to figures provided to The Lawyer in the summer (18 July 2012).

Last week it emerged that Withers was in merger talks with Speechly Bircham, a move that would push the combined firm into the top 25 UK firms (22 March 2013).