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Speechly Bircham has exceeded its budget expectations to report an 18 per cent turnover growth for 2007-08 of £47.2m.
“We slightly surprised ourselves,” said managing partner Michael Lingens. “We were expecting about £1m less – growth of about 14-15 per cent. That extra 3 or 4 per cent goes straight to our bottom line.”
Profit per equity partner (PEP) remained static at £525,000 after the firm invested heavily in new offices.
“We’ve taken on more space than we need and invested in everything that goes with that, such as technology,” Lingens said. “We anticipated it would mean a slight downturn on PEP, but we’ve still done better than expected.”
Lingens said all practice areas had performed above target, with the property practice improving by 10 per cent ahead of budget.
The firm also benefited from strong growth in its IP department, which was launched in December 2006 and which is now home to an 18- strong team.
The coming year, said Lingens, would bring cautious growth, with the firm looking to stave off any impact from the economic slowdown.
“The next year will be more challenging, but we have a business that’s well hedged, and private client, employment and information technology are all growing,” he added.