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Walker Morris has announced a 2.4 per cent rise in turnover, from £41m in 2011/12 to £42m in 2012/13, along with a 3.4 per cent dip in net profit.
The Leeds firm’s net profit dropped from £13.5m in 2011/12 to £13m last year, with PEP falling by a similar margin from £386,000 to £371,000.
Managing partner Ian Gilbert said Walker Morris had “pulled back” from its volume personal injury business during the course of the year, but other practice areas had performed more strongly. Gilbert said the decision to focus less on personal injury was largely due to the reforms to the market caused by the Jackson review.
Litigation continues to provide the greatest proportion of revenue, remaining steady at 45 per cent of total turnover last year. The contribution of the corporate team rose by one percentage point to 23 per cent of revenue, while the property team contributed 19 per cent, down one percentage point from 2011/12.
Gilbert said the dip in profitability was mainly caused by investment in people during the course of the year. Walker Morris’s lawyer headcount rose from 165 in 2011/12 to 181 in 2012/13, and total headcount rose by 20 people to 479 staff and lawyers.
Hires during the year included Cobbetts’ finance litigation team (7 February 2013) as well as a number of individual lateral hires. Gilbert said the cost of taking on the Cobbetts team was borne in the last financial year, although the fact they joined towards the year end means the benefit should be seen in the current year.
Walker Morris announced the hire of its first non-executive director last week, appointing former Deloitte managing partner Stuart Counsell (25 June 2013).