Stewarts Law sees PEP break £1m barrier for first time

Litigation boutique Stewarts Law has posted revenue of £45.2m at the 2012/13 year-end, with average profit per equity partner (PEP) on a par with the magic circle at £1.1m.

Turnover jumped by 29.5 per cent, from £34.9m in 2011/12 to £45.2m last year, while net profit hit £20.5m. Since the 2007/08 financial year turnover has almost quadrupled from just £11.9m.

The firm moved into international territory for the first time in May last year, opening offices in New York and Delaware with the double hire of securities litigators David Straite and Ralph Sianni, who were formerly at Grant & Eisenhofer (17 April 2012).

It also won a case for 83 claimants after Dresdner Kleinwort was ordered to pay out bonuses promised to its investment bankers prior to its takeover by Commerzbank in 2008 (9 May 2012). The ruling revealed that Stewarts billed £5.6m for the work while Mishcon, which acted for 21 ex-bankers, charged £5.083m (1 June 2012).

In September, Manches’ star family partner Helen Ward quit the firm for Stewarts, taking with her a team of six. The move sent shockwaves through the family sector with one leading divorce lawyer calling it the biggest move since Fiona Shackleton quit Farrer & Co in 2000 for Payne Hicks Beach

Managing partner John Cahill said: “The Stewarts Law litigation-only brand was further strengthened in the last 12 months. Helped by strong financials and an increasingly international reputation we are delighted to be one of the few real success stories in what are still difficult economic conditions.”

In July 2011 it was revealed that the firm’s equity partners had been asked to each pump in £50,000 to fund the firm’s rapid and continuing expansion. The cash injection meant the firm was able to merge with rival litigation boutique Masseys in July 2010 (18 July 2011). 

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