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A strong year in the corporate and litigation departments drove Guildford firm Stevens & Bolton to a 12.5 per cent increase in turnover last year, up from £15.2m in 2009-10.
Lateral hires at the end of the year were only a minor cost, according to managing partner Richard Baxter, but equally contributed very little to turnover. The firm made around 5 per cent of staff redundant early in the financial crisis, but has since avoided resorting to similar measures. Profit, accordingly, is on the rise. Average profit per equity partner hit £310,000 in 2010-11, representing a 13 per cent hike compared with the previous year. This was helped by careful cost control and a focus on realisation, with the firm including training partners on this issue. Stevens & Bolton beat its lockup target of 110 days by an impressive 24 days last year, achieving a work-in-progress of 19 days with average debtor days of 67.
The firm is currently paying off borrowings incurred for a new office, where it moved in June 2010. Baxter said the majority of the loans have already been paid off.