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Richards Butler has had a tough year with average profits per partner down 7.8 per cent from £450,000 in 2003 to £415,000 this year.
Worldwide turnover slumped 5.5 per cent from £91m to £86m, but there was a glimmer of light with UK turnover rising 8.7 per cent from £57.3m to £62.3m.
Managing partner Roger Parker said: “Following three years of record results, Richards Butler has faced a challenging year along with many of our competitors. The strength of sterling has impacted on our gross figures.”
The firm has suffered in Asia following the Sars epidemic. Richards Butler has one of the strongest Asian practices of all UK firms. Its Hong Kong and mainland Chinese offices contributed almost a third of the firm’s total revenues. However, this leaves the firm exposed to a volatile market.
Parker remains optimistic. He said: “There are signs of recovery in our transactional side of the business and in our Asian markets.”