On the surface Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) appears to have had an uninspiring year, with turnover, net profit and average profit per equity partner (PEP) relatively flat. Dig a little deeper, however, and you will see that this firm has been busy investing in some big-name laterals.
Turnover increased by 3 per cent, from £60m to £61.8m, net profit was up by 1.5 per cent, from £20.3m to £20.6m, PEP stood flat at £327,000, while the number of partners at the all-equity firm increased by one to 63.
RPC uses its own cash to invest in lateral hires. Over the past three years it has hired 21 partners to help it with a strategic decision to move upmarket, while its competitors in the insurance sector appeared to be moving in the opposite direction.
This has meant the deliberate exit of volume-style insurance clients, while in the corporate sector there has been a concerted effort to take only the most elite of clientele. That said, the firm refused to divulge names, making comparisons difficult. However, RPC produced a profit margin of 33 per cent, lending weight to its assertion that it has moved away from run-of-the-mill instructions.
Toward the end of the financial year the firm restructured into two streamlined practice groups – insurance and corporates – from its previous nine. The four group heads, partners Tim Bull and James Miller for insurance and Tim Anderson and Jeremy Drew for corporates, sit on the firm’s partnership executive alongside managing partner Jonathan Watmough, chief operating officer Richard Emmanuel and longstanding insurance partner Rupert Boswell.