SJ Berwin profits fall for third year

SJ Berwin has been hit hard by a recent dearth of corporate work, seeing its turnover dip by 5 per cent and its profits drop by around 20 per cent.

The firm brought in £91.3m in total income last year, compared with £96.1m the previous year. Although profits per equity partner have still to be confirmed, senior partner David Harrel said he expected last year’s figure of £528,000 to drop by 18-20 per cent. It is the third year running that the firm has seen a drop in partner profits.

Those at the top of equity could be taking home between £170,000 and £190,000 less than last year’s £840,000, with those at the bottom expected to get between £190,000 and £200,000.

Harrel said that, despite the lower figures, he was still very pleased with the result, adding that the number of aborted deals that the firm had worked on contributed to the bad result.

“Our luck deserted us,” he said. “We had more matters aborted than we’ve ever had before.”

Overseas, the Spanish office saw a drop in turnover, with Paris continuing to grow and Brussels remaining flat.

The German office, whose results are not included in the firm’s announced figures, also had a flat year. Partners there brought in total fee income of £11m, taking the overall total to £102m.