Cheltenham-headquartered media boutique Wiggin has posted a 22.3 per cent increase in revenue for the 2013/14 financial year, from £13m to £15.9m.
In a year when the firm’s financial metrics bounced back significantly, Wiggin’s net profit jumped up from £3.1m to £5.68m, a rise of 80 per cent while average profit per equity partner (PEP) increased from £282,000 to £437,000, a rise of 55 per cent.
Revenue per lawyer at Wiggin last year stood at £306,000, up 8 per cent from £283,000 while revenue per partner stood at £692,000, a rise of 6 per cent from £650,000.
The firm’s equity spread ranged from £261,500 to £523,000 last year while the total number of partners and equity partners both grew during the year, from 21 to 23 and from 11 to 13. .
Wiggin’s chief executive officer John Banister said the firm’s impressive financial performance was partly the result of its ability as a boutique to focus closely on its core client base’s needs.
“Frankly it’s easier to align with your clients’ business and work alongside them and understand them if you’re a niche firm than a full-service firm,” said Banister. “And my gut tells me that it’s what many clients are starting to expect.”
In addition to this, several other Wiggin iniatives came fully online during the year including its Brussels office, which launched off the back of the hire of Motion Picture Association’s (MPA) European legal head Ted Shapiro (11 October 2012).
Wiggin has also leveraged cost savings via its property and outsourcing deals. It moved into its current Cheltenham offices two years ago, its largest office in terms of floor space and the home to all of the firm’s support staff. In addition, Wiggin has just celebrated its tenth anniversary with secretarial outsourcing business Intelligent Office.
The firm currently controls a total of 17,729 sq ft at a cost of £443,000 (or around £25 per sq ft) while in its London office it has 4,500 sq ft costing £275,000, or £61 per sq ft.
Wiggin is four years into a five-year strategy, a period that has seen the proportion of revenue it derives from film as opposed to broadcast grow significantly. Banister said Wiggin was currently finalising details of its next stage of growth. This is likely to see it remain a niche media boutique focused on London market with more work on aligning its business with that of its clients.
In practice that approach has already seen Wiggin launch four related standalone businesses (Incopro; Cirkus; WigginEP; and Ariel Ventures). More are possible as are additional new service lines.
Wiggin’s clients include Newscorp, Virgin Media, UKTV, the Motion Picture Association and Twentieth Century Fox.