Southampton-headquartered firm Moore Blatch bounced back last year after a period of severe belt-tightening. Turnover exceeded expectations by around £750,000 in 2009-10, rising by 12 per cent, from £13.5m to £15.1m.
“The previous year was tough,” admits managing partner David Thompson. “We introduced several cost-cutting measures that took around £800,000 off the expenditure line. There was a spending review throughout the firm.”
Ultimately, several of the firm’s business lines came back enough to save it from implementing all the measures it had identified. In particular, the 10 positions earmarked for redundancy dropped to four after some lawyers were transferred to busier areas, including professional negligence. Thompson says last year’s growth was both pleasing and in some areas surprising, notably corporate, which was up 20 per cent above budget and nearly doubled its profit.
The corporate department was boosted last year by the hire of partner Simon Arthur and an assistant from Newbury firm Horsey Lightly. Elsewhere, the firm recruited into its wealth management
group with the hire of David Charlesworth from Michelmores and brought in former Field Fisher Waterhouse industrial disease specialist Michael Osborne in Richmond and Polish personal injury lawyer Wiktor Buza in Southampton.
Litigation and personal injury are the firm’s largest areas, contributing 24 and 38 per cent respectively last year, while professional negligence, an area of growth, generated £1.2m – around £100,000 ahead of budget.
Strategically, Thompson says his firm remains open to ideas. “We’re looking for growth opportunities, with a view to becoming more regional,” he says.
Managing partner: David Thompson
Number of partners: 22
Number of equity partners: 10
Number of lawyers: 71
Number of fee-earners: 91
Number of offices: Three
Locations: Lymington, Richmond, Southampton
Main practice areas: Corporate and commercial, clinical negligence, commercial litigation, personal injury, private client, professional negligence, real estate
Clients: Southampton City Council, Barratt Homes, BDW, Commercial First, Tie Rack, Wightlink