Early indications are that law firms are bearing up reasonably well at the half-year stage after firms across the board suffered heavy turnover and profit drops in the 2008-09 financial year.
Eversheds’ revenue is down by 6 per cent to £178m, while Simmons & Simmons has seen a drop of 16 per cent to £120.3m. Simmons managing partner Mark Dawkins said: “Broadly speaking it’s in line with our expectations.” Allen & Overy was the first magic circle firm to announce its financial results for the first six months of the 2009-10 year, with global revenue falling by 7 per cent year-on-year to £511m. At the same point last year the firm’s turnover figure stood at £548m.
According to managing partner Wim Dejonghe the firm’s performance was bolstered by the strength of its banking, restructuring and litigation practices. Elsewhere, it is understood that top 10 firms Lovells and Norton Rose are projecting flat revenues for the period. Last year Lovells’ half-year turnover stood at £260m. At the end of October 2008 Norton Rose posted a revenue of £141.5m. Denton Wilde Sapte’s revenue rose by 3.5 per cent at the halfway point, sitting at £87.7m.
Chief executive Howard Morris said: “There’s a lot of competitive pressure and a lot of pricing pressure, but I regard our results at the half year as encouraging.”