Manches net profit drops to 10-year low of £2.15m, PEP down to £135k

Net profit has fallen to a 10-year low at Manches, dropping by 42 per cent from £3.7m to £2.15m, while average profit per equity partner (PEP) has fallen below £200,000 for the first time since 2004/05.

Helen Ward, Manches
Helen Ward left Manches to join Stewarts

The firm’s equity partnership has contracted by just one over the last year to 15, but PEP has dropped by 42.6 per cent from £235,000 in 2011/12 to £135,000 in 2012/13. The last time the firm posted PEP below £200,000 was in 2004/05 when it stood at £195,000.

Net profit has been on a downward trend since a high of £5.4m in 2007/08, falling 60.2 per cent since then to £2.15m at the last year end.

Turnover at the firm has also fallen to its lowest point since 2004/05, down by 12.9 per cent from 2011/12 from £30.2m to £26.3m. In 2004/05 revenues stood at £23.5m.

Manches’ equity spread has also moved downwards, with the top of equity now at £396,000 compared with £699,000 a year ago.

In September the firm saw the exit of family law star Helen Ward to rival Stewarts Law (19 September 2012). Ward, who is understood to have been one of the biggest billers at Manches, was the fifth partner to make the journey to Stewarts in around three years.

Manches installed former RSM International chief operating officer Judit Petho as chief executive in October 2010 in a bid to reboot growth (25 October 2010 ). She quit the firm last July (5 July 2012) with Manches reverting to a traditional law firm model.