Birmingham-based Martineau Johnson may only just scrape the nether regions of the UK 100, but this year’s PEP result suggests it is a firm on the rise.
The firm recorded a storming 48 per cent growth in PEP, jumping up from £176K to £260K in the space of a year.
And while it has a long way to go till its partners are rivalling those of the magic circle, that’s a bigger increase in PEP than even that seen at Freshfields.
Managing partner Bill Barker said that bringing on top people and constraining the costs of the business has enabled the progress.
And though by no means across the board, revenue growth was equally impressive in some areas: the IP and technology group, for instance, saw revenue climb 56 per cent - even if other groups such as property all but stalled.
The socking PEP rise reflects, and marks the end of, an investment period at the firm.
This included moving offices in high-rent London with the intention of doubling the firm’s 50-head presence in the capital, and led to a fall in average profit per equity partner (PEP) last year of 14 per cent from £190,000 in 2005-06 to £172,000 .
It also shows the plan’s success.
In both the years before that, Martineau’s PEP was boosted by property windfalls.
In 2006-07, a £1.7m windfall from Martineau’s Birmingham landlord Anglo-Irish Private Banking followed a breach of covenant in which regional rival Cobbetts moved into its One Colmore Square office at the same time in September 2004, in breach of a contract that stipulated Martineaus would be the only law firm in the building.
The £1.7m was Martineau’s second major payoff from Anglo-Irish in two years, after the firm received an initial £2m rent-free period as a sweetener for making the office move.
So unless the firm has had another windfall we don’t yet know about, that’s a success. We love it when a plan come together.