Newcastle-based Wat-son Burton has posted a staggering 27 per cent rise in turnover while its profits jumped by more than 30 per cent on last year. The 12-partner firm saw turnover increase from £8m to £11m this year. The profits leap equates to a net of £3.1m. Average profits per equity partner stood at £420,000, with partners at the top taking £470,000 and those at the bottom £396,000. In sharp contrast, average profits per equity partner (PPP) at Newcastle giant Dickinson Dees were only £210,000, while at 43- partner firm Ward Hadaway, average PPP was even lower at £183,000. The firms' equity partners number six (Watson Burton), 32 (Dickinson Dees), and 12 (Ward Hadaway). Patrick Harwood, Watson Burton's managing director, said the rise in turnover was close to what the firm had budgeted for. He added that corporate, litigation and property departments had all performed well. Hardwood attributed the rise in profits to good cost management. He said: "The firm has always been sharp on controlling expenses. Our premises costs are fairly low." Hugh Welch, managing partner of Newcastle rival Robert Muckle, said the profits "taken in isolation" were very impressive.