Macfarlanes confounds market doom with double digit rises in turnover and net profit

Macfarlanes has posted a revenue hike of 11.7 per cent for 2012/13, taking turnover above £110m, alongside a 16 per cent jump in net profit.


Charles Martin

Turnover at the firm increased from £102.2m in 2011/12 to £114.2m this year. It is the first time since 2008 that Macfarlanes has surpassed the £110m mark.

Net profit also bounced up 16 per cent, from £42.4m last year to £49.2m (6 July 2012) number of equity partners at the firm held relatively steady at 50, allowing average profit per equity partner to increase by 9.5 per cent from £903,000 in 2011/12 to £989,000 last year. 

There were no major changes in the breakdown of revenue by department last year at Macfarlanes, with corporate bringing in 37.5 per cent of the firm’s total turnover, or £42.8m, the largest proportion of its groups. Finance was next largest at 20.8 per cent (£23.7m), while litigation contributed 17.2 per cent (£19.6m), private client 14.7 per cent (£16.7m), and property 11.6 per cent (£13.2m). 

Macfarlanes’ senior partner Charles Martin said: “These are good results in a challenging market. We were busy right the way across the firm over the last year. We have seen cautious growth in response to client demand. People have worked in an impressively determined way and it is great to see the impact of that on the practice.”

In March 2013, Macfarlanes revealed its plans to grow the proportion of revenue bought in by disputes work, in order to achieve a rough equilibrium between its litigation, transactional and advisory practices. Over the past year the contribution made by contentious work increased by only 0.4 per cent. 

The traditionally lateral hiring-shy firm made a number of new partner appointments in 2012/13, including Speechly Bircham private client partner Charles Gothard in November 2012 and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld hedge funds partner Simon Thomas in February 2013. It also added four to its partnership in an April 2013 promotions round (8 April 2013)