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Wragge & Co significantly outperformed the market in 2010-11, growing by 17.6 per cent, from £96.2m in 2009-10 to £113.1m last year.
Turnover (£m): 113.1
Average PEP: 325
Equity spread (£k):110-520
Profit margin (%): 34
RPL (£k): 247
Vision – Execution – Governance –
Net profit rose by almost 28 per cent to £38.8m over the same period. The numbers are still a fair way off the firm’s 2008-09 zenith, when it generated £125.6m, but the decision to maintain underperforming practices through the downturn has taken a toll.
According to senior partner Quentin Poole, the firm performed well across the board. International work provided the biggest boon. It now makes up 40 per cent of revenue, up from 20 per cent three years ago.
Wragges is capitalised conservatively and has no borrowings. Savings and capital contributions paid for its offices in Paris and Abu Dhabi, which opened in January and December 2010 respectively.
Big decisions, such as new offices, are voted on by the partnership. The firm has two management structures: a strategy board comprised of the senior partner, managing partner (currently Ian Metcalfe) and heads of department, and an elected management committee that looks at constitutional matters – although Poole says the latter may be reviewed in the future. In addition, two directors, Jenny Hardy and Richard Jones, report to Poole and Metcalfe and play an active part in arranging the logistics of large projects such as new offices.
Every year the firm elects three partners to sit alongside the senior and managing partner on its profit share committee. Partners’ pay is merit-based, but not eat what you kill. All aspects of a partner’s contribution are assessed, from earnings to helping with training, and the committee’s decision is final.