DWF leaves rivals behind with double-digit growth

DWF leaves rivals behind with double-digit growthThe real estate practice at DWF has bucked the trend among North West firms with double-digit growth for the first six months of the 2008-09 financial year.

Fee income grew by 12.5 per cent, including 11 per cent growth in real estate. However, this increase was overshadowed by litigation, which was up by 23 per cent, private ;client, ;which expanded by 21 per cent, and insurance, which grew by 19 per cent.

Managing ;partner Andrew Leaitherland said: “Although we’re expecting difficult trading conditions in the six months ahead, we believe we’re well placed to continue this level of growth for the immediate future.”

Other North West firms have also achieved positive growth despite corporate and real estate departments experiencing a slump.

Hill Dickinson grew by 13.5 per cent, although its real estate department, which accounts for a fifth of total income, grew by just over 1 per cent. The corporate practice saw growth of 12 per cent.

Two of the strongest-­performing areas at the ­Liverpool-headquartered firm were the relatively small employment and professional risk teams. The former is up 52 per cent on last year and the latter by 29 per cent.

Both real estate and ­corporate fell at Pannone, which posted 8 per cent growth overall.

Pannone ;managing ­partner Steven Grant said: “We’ve had a strong ­performance from all our private client departments, particularly ;clinical ­negligence and regulatory.”

Weightmans grew by 6 per cent, boosted by ­catastrophic injury work. The ;small ;property ­department, which accounts for 4 per cent of overall turnover, was significantly behind budget.