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This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Kennedys’ net debt at 30 April 2012 was almost double what it was at the same date in 2011, as the firm took out a tax loan for the first time to ease the pain of paying a lump sum in January.
Net debt at Kennedys at 30 April 2012 was £18.4m, according to the firm’s LLP accounts, up from £9.5m at the same point in 2011. Similarly, bank loans and overdrafts at the firm increased from £5.8m to £15.7m between 2010/11 and 2011/12.
Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas said that the increase in debt was due to continuing IT expenditure and the firm’s decision to take out a tax loan to pay its January tax bill. Thomas added that tax loans were increasingly common practice among partnerships and protect firms from having to fund a lump sum payment, which would be somewhere around £6m for Kennedys.
At the same time, Thomas confirmed to The Lawyer that Kennedys was still in talks about a potential tie-up with PI and insurance focused Scottish firm Simpson & Marwick, news of which first broke in November 2012 (21 November 2012).
Kennedys’ highest-paid partner meanwhile received £518,520 in 2011/12, according to the LLP accounts. That figure is down from £541,739 in 2010/11.
Overall, Kennedys was in growth mode in 2011/12. Turnover broke through the £100m barrier for the first time, rising from £96.8m to £109m as average staff numbers rose from 709 to 835. Likewise, the number of equity partners at the firm, where average profit per equity partner is £390,000, was 53, up from 49 in 2010/11. The average number of non-equity partners at the firm in 2011/12 also grew, from 95 to 105.
In the firm’s LLP accounts, management stated: “New offices have been opened in Ireland and Portugal during the year and the members plan to continue to expand the group in the forthcoming period.”