The past year has been an eventful one for Penningtons, with the firm pulling off takeovers of Dawsons in March and Wedlake Saint in April. CEO David Raine said it is all part of a longer term plan for growth, which has also seen a round of promising financial results in 2010-11. Turnover was up from £22.3m to £24.1m, while profit margin surged from 18 per cent to 22 per cent.
The City-headquartered firm, which has outposts in Basingstoke and Godalming, saw business services emerge as a big growth area over the past year. Its sizeable property practice operated in difficult conditions but continued to expand with new hires in its social housing team.
Penningtons’ management board consists of Raine, who is elected as managing partner and chief executive, and three heads of divisions who are appointed by Raine: head of business services Franco Bosi, head of real estate Peter McElligott and head of private individuals Tim Palmer.
Remuneration operates under a meritocracy, with equity partners entitled to a discretionary pool of profits allocated annually by a remuneration committee, based on partners’ performance over a three-year period.
In terms of financial management, Raine admits Penningtons could do better on its 207-day lockup - far higher than its 150-day target - but attributes this partly to its large clinical negligence practice, in which cases can run for five years before billing.