PEP falls 15 per cent at Hill Dickinson while revenue rises

Hill Dickinson’s financial results have shown a 15 per cent drop in average profit per equity partner (PEP) and 11 per cent drop in net profit, despite posting a slight increase in turnover for 2012/2013.

The firm posted turnover of £112.8m for 2012/13, up 2.5 per cent from £110.1m in 2011/12.

Net profit fell 11 per cent to £16.9m from £19m in the previous financial year. Meanwhile PEP fell 15 per cent to £264,000 in 2012/13 from £312,000 in 2011/12, after the total number of equity partners grew from 61 in 2011/12 to 64 last year.

The firm’s growth of 10 per cent from £100.1m in 2010/11 to £110.1m in 2011/12 followed the first full year of trading after its acquisition of Halliwell’s Liverpool and Sheffield offices (13 June 2012).

Hill Dickinson managing partner Peter Jackson attributed the fall in profitability last year to a drop off in commercial work and various increased overheads.

He said: “We are out of incentive in the Liverpool office and have taken a lease on a new property in London so overheads have gone up there.”

He said the firm had also upgraded its IT system to the tune of an undisclosed seven-figure sum, to keep up with growing demand in the insurance sector.

“I expect to see a return to the levels of profitability we were at three years ago, within two years,” he said.

Last month it emerged that around 60 staff at the firm had taken voluntary redundancy in the Liverpool office (28 June 2013), following a restructuring which began in May (29 April 2013).

Jackson was unable to say exactly how many staff and partners were affected by the restructuring, but said the end of the staff consultation was close to completion. He added that there were several partners on 12-month notice periods who were unlikely to have left before the end of the current financial year.