Kirkpatrick hikes profit and reconfigures board

In the first year since its merger, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham has increased both revenue and profit and revamped its management board.

In the first year since its merger, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham has increased both revenue and profit and revamped its management board.

London revenue rose 10 per cent to £29.8m from £27.1m. Firmwide turnover rose 26 per cent, from $372.5m (£214.3m) to $468.9m (£270m), while average profit per equity partner also rose, from £240,000 to £300,000. Net profit stood at $121.1m (£69.7m), while the equity spread was $361,600 (£208,200)-$2.5m (£1.44m).

London administrative head Tony Griffiths said: “Part of the decision to restructure the management board was to give it more practice area representation.”

The changes to the firm’s management board reflect Kirkpatrick’s increased size post-merger. Previously, the international firm ran a 19-member board that included all of its office heads, known within the firm as administrative heads, as well as practice area leaders. The firm has reduced the number of office heads on the board, effective from the beginning of this year, by removing five partners from smaller offices, including San Francisco, Miami and Newark.

The changes also form part of a drive by the firm to have more representation from practice area leaders (Pals) on the board. There are now seven Pals as opposed to four at board level.

The firm’s London office has been left unaffected by the management shake-up. Griffiths remains on the board, while London senior partner Michael Johns continues as a member of the five-member executive committee.

The London corporate group showed the most growth during the year, with headcount rising by 30 per cent. The bulk of the hires were at assistant level, although Kirkpatrick also made some significant lateral hires during the year, including Stephenson Harwood‘s head of M&A Kevin Dean, who joined in January.

Griffiths said the London office was beginning to import business lines from its US practice, with the focus increasingly on insurance coverage, construction and arbitration and funds formation work.