A growing focus on insolvency and related areas helped Bloomsbury firm Moon Beever grow both revenue and profit during the recession last year.
The firm is already known for handling a range of corporate and personal insolvency, including fraud and antecedent transactions, as a special area. It extended that range in the latter part of 2008 when it launched in Essex to house its expanding debt and collections practice.
In January the firm hired a five-strong team, including three solicitors and partner Charles Robinson, from London-based utilities litigation firm MTC. Underlining the firm’s commitment to insolvency, which accounts for around 75 per cent of total revenue, its managing partner since 2000 Frances Coulson was appointed deputy vice-president of insolvency practitioners’ trade body R3 in 2009. He became vice president in April and is set for the presidency in 2011-12.
“For a small firm it can be a big time commitment, but it’s good for the firm to be so close to the members and also gives us a lot of profile,” says Coulson.
Moon Beever’s financial year-end is 31 December, at which point total revenue had risen by around 10 per cent to £5.2m. Coulson says profit was up by around 20 per cent.
“Our expectations were much lower at the beginning of 2009,” reveals Coulson. This was a period when the firm was forced to lay off two private client lawyers. “We hope to be expanding private client again during 2010,” he adds.
The upturn in fortunes last year also allowed Moon Beever to plough £200,000 into its IT systems along with additional investment in tailored client billing reporting and online access.
This year a heavyweight private client hire may be possible as the current group head and senior partner Paul Shields is planning to retire in three years.