Mills & Reeve increased net profit by 4.3 per cent to £19.4m last year, despite turnover staying more or less flat at £67.2m. Managing partner Guy Hinchley said this was due to a lower provision for bad debt compared with in 2009-10 and tighter control over headcount. The total number of fee-earners dropped from 430 to 400, while total staff numbers decreased from 719 to 686.
The majority of turnover, £26.2m, came from corporate, a figure that also includes finance and litigation revenues. The firm’s insurance practice grew by 18 per cent, contributing approximately £12m. Mills & Reeve’s public sector practice took a dip, particularly on the NHS side, while it also lost some clients in real estate.
Mills & Reeve operates a modified lockstep remuneration system. The firm usually manages to shave off a few of its lockup days each year, but that was not achieved in 2010-11. It has, however, appointed a member of staff to try to tighten up on this.
Plans are shaping up for a lateral hire in the firm’s insurance practice in London, while further investments in the Birmingham corporate and commercial practice are being considered.