Lovells revenues up 13 per cent

Lovells revenues up 13 per centLovells has posted a robust financial performance during the 2007-08 period with revenues rising by 13 per cent and average profit per equity partner (PEP) up by 10.5 per cent.

Turnover for the year came in at £479m, up from £425m last year, while PEP rose from £599,000 to £662,000.

Managing partner David Harris said: “What we have seen, which is different to our competitors, which saw a strong start to the year then a tailing off, was growth through successive quarters through the year.

“That’s reflective of the broad spread of our practice, which has a strong counter cyclical aspect.”

Geographically, Harris said Asia and the Middle East performed particularly strongly over the 12-month period with the combined region accounting for 6.5 per cent of total revenues.

Harris said: “Dubai has done exceptionally well in its first year and has far exceeded our projections.”

The Dubai office, which opened on 1 May last year, houses five partners and 22 associates and focuses on finance and projects work.

Elsewhere, Continental Europe accounted for 40 per cent of billings with London producing 49 per cent and the US 4.5 per cent. This is marginally different firm last year when London accounted for 51 per cent, Continental Europe 37 per cent and Asia and the US 6 per cent each.

Harris said performance in the US had been less strong this year due to a decrease in the number of insurance and reinsurance disputes and a capital investment in bankruptcy and IP teams.

In terms of practice areas corporate was the biggest biller overall, accounting for 30.5 per cent of turnover, followed by commerce and real estate on 27.5 per cent, dispute resolution on 22 per cent and finance on 20 per cent. This breakdown is almost identical to last year.

In profitability terms, while Harris admitted that average PEP at the firm is well below that of top 10 rival Herbert Smith, which broke the £1m barrier for the first time this year, he said Lovells had seen significant growth over the past few years.

This year the firm’s bottom equity figure is £413,000, which compares with £362,000 last year, while plateau partners will pocket £826,000, up from £732,000.

For more on the financial results at all the top firms as they come in, see our Top of the PEPs 2008 blog here