Disappointing year for Lawrence Graham

Mid-sized City firm Lawrence Graham has recorded a 3.5 per cent drop in profits per equity partner (PEP) despite turnover breaking £60m for the first time.

The firm’s PEP has dropped to £401,000 for 2004/05, down from £415,000 during the 2003/04 financial year when the firm posted record average PEP. Top of equity has similarly declined 9 per cent to £560,000, down from £615,000 in 2003/04.

However, the decline in profits has not been reflected in the firm’s turnover, which has broken £60m for the first time. Turnover reached £61.1m for 2004/05, compared to £58.6m in 2003/04.

Lawrence Graham will not make anyone up to partnership this year. The firm has a strict rule of considering only seven-year qualified assistants for partnership. This meant that none was in the frame for promotion.

Despite the dip in profits, the firm said it was pleased with the results, as they were better than previous expectations that PEP would drop below £400,000.

A spokesperson for Lawrence Graham, explained that this was because 2004/05 had been a year of high costs for the firm, after it incurred the full cost of its merger in August with Tite & Lewis.

The spokesperson also said that although the firm would not make up any new partners internally this year, it had taken on seven new partners in the last 12 months, including five from Tite & Lewis.