UK top 200 ranking: 52
A disappointing end to 2011–12 saw Lawrence Graham’s profitability go through the floor.
Managing partner Hugh Maule placed the blame for the declining profit margin, net profit and plummeting average profit per equity partner (PEP) firmly at the front door of those expensive and echoey More London offices, claiming “increased property costs” was the chief culprit.
LG stuttered to a 3.4 per cent turnover drop too, from £58m in 2010–11, to £56m in 2011–12. Maule says LG expects to let the surplus space shortly, but whether this will be as a result of a merger remains to be seen after £150m tie-up talks with Field Fisher Waterhouse ended abruptly in June 2012.
Again, there was speculation about LG’s finances contributing to the collapse in negotiations. PEP dropped by 26 per cent from £412,000 in 2010–11 to £303,000 for 2011–12 while net profit almost halved from £15.2m to £8.3m.
Positive points include the strength of LG’s overseas revenue, with its Dubai office posting the largest percentage increase in revenue growth, at 40 per cent, and the development of key jurisdictions including the newest office in Singapore and its Brazilian association with Motta Fernandes Rocha.
In November 2012 LG announced it was launching a redundancy consultation in a bid to cut 18 jobs across lawyer, central services and support staff ranks, although the firm declined to disclose which specific practice areas the redundancies would affect.
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Overview4 More London Riverside
Turnover (£m): 56
Total lawyers: 190