Revenues at Bristol firms remain stagnant

Revenues across Bristol-headquartered firms ­flatlined during the 2009-10 financial year as firms looked to rebuild their core practices in the wake of the recession.

Osborne Clarke saw turnover fall by 0.4 per cent, from £84m to £83.7m, while Burges Salmon posted a 5.5 per cent drop, from £64.2m to £60.7m.

Osborne Clarke managing partner Simon Beswick commented: “All our departments are reliant on the financial services sector. We found it tough going until last September, then it got noticeably better and that’s kept going.”

The same was true for Bevan Brittan, whose turnover was down by 8 per cent, from £41.1m to £37.7m; Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons, down by 2 per cent, from £22.2m to £21.8m; and Clarke ­Willmott, which suffered the largest slide, down by 14 per cent, from £47.2m to £40.8m.

TLT Solicitors was the only firm in the geographical peer group to lift turnover, with the figure ­rising by 5.1 per cent to £41m from £39m a year earlier. The firm also posted a 44 per cent rise in average ­profit per equity partner (PEP), from £198,000 to £285,000.

Thring Townsend increased its lawyer base from 124 to 136 in a move that had a direct impact on the revenue per lawyer figure, which fell 10.6 per cent to £160,000 from £179,000.

The firm’s PEP figure has also fallen 19 per cent from £112,000 to £90,000.

Despite five equity partners retiring during the year the firm’s lockstep is still top-heavy, with the equity spread in 2008-09 running from £104,000 to £182,000, while the 2009-10 spread was £82,000-£91,200.