Herbert Smith suffers profits slump

Herbert Smith has joined the growing throng of City firms experiencing declining profits on static turnover for the last financial year.

Turnover for 2003-04 rose slightly to £243m compared with £241m in the previous year, while average profits per equity partner slumped by 6.4 per cent to £700,000.

Net income for the period reached £78m, giving a credible 32 per cent profit margin.

Over the year, the average number of equity partners increased by seven to 111.

Billings in corporate declined by between 10 and 12 per cent, while litigation and real estate flourished, both reporting gross increases of around 10 per cent.