Simmons in dramatic U-turn as PEP drops

Simmons & Simmons has been hit by a 19.6 per cent drop in average profit per equity partner (PEP) after seeing four consecutive years of growth.

In its financial results for 2008-09, Simmons’ PEP fell to £520,000 from a high of £647,000 last year.

Turnover grew slightly, from £289m to £291m.

Managing partner Mark Dawkins said the weakness of sterling had boosted ­revenues because Simmons’ extensive European ­network bills in euros.

He added: “The financial results reflect a year of two halves. The first six months were strong and built on a good performance in the previous year. For obvious reasons the second half was more difficult.”

Between 2004 and 2008 Simmons’ PEP more than doubled, from £275,000 to £647,000.

The latest figure is now at the same level as it was ­during the 2006-07 ­financial year.

Commenting on the fall, Dawkins said: “The drop was for a combination of reasons, including reduced transactional work levels in some key jurisdictions and one-off costs relating to our redundancy programme.”

The firm’s largest sector grouping, financial ­institutions, saw turnover increase despite the ­banking crisis. Clients include UBS and Barclays, with the latter recently naming Simmons on its revamped legal panel.

Geographically, the ­corporate practices in France and Italy performed strongly. In the Middle East the Doha and Abu Dhabi offices achieved growth, but Dubai had a difficult year.