Bircham Dyson Bell’s profit grows following partner cuts

Bircham Dyson Bell’s turnover flatlined in 2011-12, but average profit per equity partner (PEP) 13 rose per cent after the firm asked three partners to leave and cut two support staff.

Jesper Christensen
Jesper Christensen

Net profit at the firm was £7.8m, up 11.4 per cent on 2010-11’s £7m. The latest figure is a return to its 2009-10 level, but still down on 2007-08’s £8.2m. Average profit per equity partner (PEP) went up from in £230,000 in 2010-11 to £260,000 in 2011-12. Turnover at the firm in 2011-12 was flat at £31m.

Managing partner Jesper Christensen told The Lawyer that the firm had achieved its profit growth by keeping a close eye on costs and making cuts. During the 2011-12 financial year, Bircham Dyson Bell asked three partners to leave and made two support staff redundant.

As a result, the average number of partners at the firm during 2011-12 was 45, down from 48 the year before. Equity partner numbers fell from 27 to 25.

Christensen said that the firm was now stable and that there were no more redundancies on the horizon. He added that, following Bircham Dyson Bell’s aborted merger talks with Dundas & Wilson (10 October 2011), he was still keen for the firm to expand and was open minded about how it achieved that growth. In the more immediate future, Christensen will concentrate on creating structures to help develop the firm’s younger lawyers as well as devising a more sophisticated sector focus.

Christensen was permanently elected as managing partner in May (22 May 2012). He replaced Guy Vincent, who stepped down after seven years in the job.