Merger costs created profit drop at Lawrence Graham

Lawrence Graham” />Lawrence Graham shelled out almost £400,000 in costs associated with its merger with Tite & Lewis during the 2004-05 financial year, The Lawyer can reveal.

The mid-sized City firm, which became a limited-liability partnership in August 2004, recorded costs of £396,000 relating to its merger with Tite & Lewis as part of its accounts provided to Companies House.

Senior partner Bill Richards told The Lawyer the firm decided to cover the costs in one year rather than repaying them over a number of years. As a result, Lawrence Graham saw a 3.5 per cent drop in profit per equity partner (PEP) to £401,000 for 2004-05, down from £415,000 during the 2003-04 financial year. The firm’s turnover broke £60m for the first time during the 2004-05 financial year.

“We could have spread those expenses out over a few years and the profits would not have been down,” he said. “I think the fact that we wrote the costs off in one year actually says more about how robust our firm is than anything else.”

Richards denied the associated costs of the merger were unusually high.

“At the end of the day we shook hands on it and it’s been a successful merger,” he said. “There were no expenses that blew out, but it does cost money to bring two businesses together.”