Stephenson Harwood is making good its aim to bolster its European practice, announcing a revenue increase of 44 per cent in the region to £3m
The increase was in part attributable to the firm's new two-partner asset finance operation in Paris, established last year. The team currently shares an office with French best friend Barbe Thibault Carpentier Groener, with which Stephenson Harwood is in ongoing merger talks. The firm intends to have a presence in every key European jurisdiction within the next five years. It currently has an office in Madrid, but will be looking to break into the German and Italian markets. Worldwide revenue was down marginally to £54.3m from £55.6m. This was due in part to a 5 per cent drop in Hong Kong, which accounts for nearly a fifth of the firm's £9.7m income. However, the firm remains bullish on Asia. Senior partner Andrew Sutch said: "Given our strengths in Hong Kong, we see a major opportunity with the opening up of the People's Republic of China following entry to the World Trade Organization and the relaxation of practising restrictions, which are expected later this year." Last year's merger with Sinclair Roche & Temperley, along with a less favourable economic climate, took its toll on partner profits, which were down 25 per cent to £210,000, but not the 61 per cent drop as reported last week (The Lawyer, 6 August).