Walker Morris pushes its PEP past £600K mark

Walker Morris pushes its PEP past £600K mark” />Walker Morris has broken through the £600,000 average profit per equity partner (PEP) barrier for the first time, with turnover and profit rises of 5 per cent.

The Leeds-based firm is estimating that PEP will hit £605,000 this year, up from £575,000 in 2005, while turnover is up to £45.3m from £43.1m.

Managing partner Peter Smart said Walker Morris was still finalising its figures, but that the results were a good performance for the firm.

“It wasn’t spectacular, but then spectacular rises usually follow, or are followed by, spectacular falls,” Smart said.

He added that turnover in Walker Morris’s core lawyered business had risen by 12 per cent, but that overall growth was pulled down by a decrease in non-core volume work.

Smart said the past year had seen heavy investment in people, premises and IT. In particular, the firm hired partners and associates for its projects, competition, IT, regulatory and licensing teams.

“This investment that we’ve made is expected to produce a hefty return in the current year, with internal forecasts predicting a strong growth in both turnover and profits,” said Smart.

Deals over the past year have seen Walker Morris instructed by Bupa on its £328m acquisition of rival healthcare provider Associated Nursing Services in August 2005 and by the consortium acquiring Wellington boot brand Hunter.

Meanwhile, partner Martin Scott has been fighting the Wembley litigation brought by Multiplex against Walker Morris client Cleveland Bridge.