UK 200 position: 43
North West firm Weightmans saw one of the biggest turnover rises in the UK 200 2012 following its merger with Mace & Jones and the acquisition of the insurance arm of Vizards Wyeth at the start of the 2011–12 period.
Total revenue went up by 33.4 per cent from the £57.8m reported in the 2010–11 LLP accounts to reach £77.1m. The commercial practice was the area of most growth, with roughly £13m previously generated by Weightmans’ team alone doubled by the arrival of the Mace & Jones lawyers.
However, the firm saw a drop in profit and a rise in borrowings as a result of the merger. Average profit per equity partner decreased from £298,000 in 2010-11 to £275,000 in 2011–12. Net profit was £8.5m, just down on the 2010–11 figure.
Managing partner Patrick Gaul said the decrease in profitability was due in part to the costs of the merger and to the real estate and employment departments not performing to budget.
The overall partner count increased from 110 in 2010–11 to 151 in 2011–12, although the number of full equity partners rose only slightly, from 29 to 31. Eight of Mace & Jones’ equity partners became ‘silver equity’ partners (similar to Weightmans’ existing fixed-share equity partnership) post-merger.
Weightmans remains heavily focused on the insurance and personal injury markets. Contentious work represents 67 per cent of fee income.
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OverviewPall Mall Court
61-67 King Street
Turnover (£m): 77.1
Total lawyers: 450