Matrix boosts revenue by a fifth despite tenant losses

By Brendan Malkin
Despite the loss of three key tenants, Matrix Chambers has reported a 19 per cent revenue hike for the first six months of the 2004-05 financial year.

Despite the loss of three key tenants, Matrix Chambers has reported a 19 per cent revenue hike for the first six months of the 2004-05 financial year.

Turnover for the six-month period from April is £5.45m, some £1.04m up on 2003-04.

The set hopes to maintain growth for the second half to exceed £10m at the year-end. Turnover last year stood at £9.2m. Matrix was ranked 29th by turnover in The Lawyer’s Bar Top 30 2004.

All tenants have been given a 1 per cent rebate on their chambers contributions – the 20 per cent of each barrister’s earnings that pay for the set’s running costs.

Chief executive Nick Martin said the recent turnover rises are linked to improved fee collection and underlying growth, stemming partly from its involvement in key commercial cases, notably advising on various aspects of the GE-Honeywell merger and advising the liquidators of BCCI in their ongoing claim against the Bank of England.
The hiring of four tenants from Hailsham Chambers in the last year has not had a major influence on the set’s financial performance, said Martin.

The barristers to have left Matrix are: Ken Macdonald QC, the set’s highest earner in the first six months of 2003-04, who was appointed the new Director of Public Prosecutions; David Bean QC, who went to the High Court bench; and Murray Hunt, the new legal adviser to the joint standing committee on human rights.

Matrix’s improved fees collection has meant it has reduced its average debtor days to 150, compared with 200-250 just six months ago.

Crime now represents one-fifth of earnings, while the set is also winning more large-scale immigration and commercial arbitration work.