High-end corporate work sees Shoosmiths’ turnover rocket

Shoosmiths‘ Birmingham office has boosted turnover by 81 per cent in 12 months.

The office’s mid-year figures reflect the success of its policy of eschewing mid-market clients in favour of high-margin corporate work.

Birmingham managing partner Joel Kordan said: “Birmingham’s a crowded city for lawyers generally, but particularly in the mid-market. However, we don’t look to compete with the mid-market firms, but with Wragge & Co and Eversheds. We take work that would otherwise have been done in the City.”

The policy is reflected by November hires from both those firms and DLA Piper. Eversheds senior associate Alastair Peet joined as a partner, bringing expertise in M&A, as did assistant Emma Dolphin from Wragges.

Lucy Clark from DLA Piper also joined the IP/IT team as an assistant, while the month before Shoosmiths poached property litigation partner Darren Clegg from Wragges.

The hires have taken Shoosmiths’ Birmingham headcount to 14 partners and 85 staff. The office has made 14 lateral hires in 18 months.

The hires follow a successful year-end for the firm as a whole, which in July announced that turnover was up by 23 per cent on 2004-05, from £60.8m to £74.7m for 2005-06.

The Birmingham office is estimated to have turned over some £12m of that total.

Average profit per equity partner was up by 16 per cent, from £342,000 to £396,000, making it the firm’s fifth consecutive year of profit increase.