The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
SJ Berwin’s net debt rose by 321 per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12 on the back of a large tax bill caused by rising profitability.
The firm’s LLP accounts, filed at Companies House on Tuesday (22 January), show that the firm’s net debt rose from £1.9m in 2010/11 to £8m in 2011/12, while debt due within one year rose from £6m in 2010/11 to £10.5m in 2011/12.
The firm said the rise was largely due to an increased tax bill on account of a profit jump. Average profit per partner at SJ Berwin rose by 40 per cent in 2010/11 and 1 per cent in 2011/12 (20 June 2012).
Managing partner Rob Day said in a statement: “As is the nature of LLP accounts, they are a snapshot in time. These particular accounts happen to show a point in time when a significant tax payment was made in respect of a previous accounting year where our tax bill rose due to a significant rise in profit.”
Separately, the accounts state the firm’s revenue figure for 2011/12 as £179.9m, a 2 per cent increase on £176m in 2010/11.
The audited figure is marginally lower than the £180m the firm announced last summer, although as the 2010/11 revenue figure was also below the announced turnover, the increase is larger than the 1 per cent previously reported.
Day commented: “In order to provide figures as quickly as possible we have to estimate our WIP [work in progress] valuation. Following our further assessment we decided to include a reduced WIP valuation which we provided to our auditors and explains the slight variation of figures.”
The accounts also reveal that the firm’s top earner received a profit share of just over £900,000 in 2011/12, an 8 per cent drop on the equivalent figure in 2010/11. The firm’s highest-earning partner took home £927,648, compared with £1.006m during the previous financial year.
The 2011/12 figure is also 7 per cent lower than the estimated figure for the firm’s top of equity of £1m reported in The Lawyer UK 200 2012.