​Fladgate unveils 29 per cent PEP hike as 2013/14 financial year draws to a close

Fladgate has kicked off the 2013/14 financial reporting season by posting a 16 per cent rise in turnover, with total revenue hitting a record £32.6m.

The firm has also reported a provisional 29 per cent increase in average profit per equity partner (PEP), taking PEP from £406,000 to £524,000.

Fladgate’s chief operating officer John Goreing said that although the firm had been 15 per cent up on revenue at the half year point (7 November 2013), “you never quite know what the full year will look like”.

For Fladgate the high PEP in particular is a return to where the firm had been in previous years. “We took a big hit in the recession, being a transactionally focused firm,” admitted Goreing.

In 2009 Fladgate’s financial results ­confirmed the dearth of commercial property deals at the time when its PEP tumbled by 37 per cent from £618,000 to £390,000 while turnover dropped by 12.5 per cent from £27.1m to £23.7m (6 July 2009).

Goreing added that the firm’s strong year financially over the past 12 months was, “partly to do with laterals, but also to do with a marked upturn in transactional work, both corporate and property”.

Major deals on which the firm advised included a £230m refinancing for companies held by Camden Market Holding; Cathedral Group on its joint venture with Galliard Homes on the Royal Gateway and Caxton Works project in Canning Town; and Random House on the acquisition of an interest in Random House Struik Proprietary from New Holland Publishing (South Africa).

Goreing also said the firm’s stronger financial position was the result of Fladgate “using our building better by filling the vacant space productively”.

Fladgate has had a recent run of lateral hires that has helped with that effort and which continued this week with the recruitment of Anil Rajani, a specialist in regulatory matters, governance and investigations from IBB Solicitors. Rajani was head of the business investigations and governance team at IBB and a partner there since 1995.

Fladgate is currently working on a new three-year business plan which is likely to include continued strategic growth, succession planning and continuing to grow specialist areas to complement the firm’s core private wealth and related corporate and property groups.

Earlier this year it recruited Teresa Cullen, a family specialist who was managing partner of Rochman Landau between 1990 and 2011 prior to its merger with Ashfords, and Dentons capital markets specialist Neil Vickers (5 February 2014).

Fladgate’s chairman Charles Wander said Rajani’s appointment would provide a major boost to the firm’s regulatory, governance and investigations group and added the firm anticipated “a further increase in turnover in 2014/15 and beyond, as our business continues to evolve”.

Fladgate is unusual in that it has a 31 March year end, allowing it to be the first top 100 firm to report its 2013/14 financials.

For the majority of firms, today is the final day of the financial year, with many firms predicting a slight rise in revenue (22 April 2014).