DWF reports 84 per cent growth to £188m

DWF has posted turnover of £188m at the close of 2012/13, an 84 per cent increase from £102m last year.

Andrew Leaitherland

Last year DWF broke through the £100m turnover barrier for the first time after posting a rise of 23 per cent to £102m for the 2011/12 financial year (1 June 2012 ).

The firm also revealed that PEP now stands at just over £429,000 up from £412,000. Net profit, meanwhile, has grown by 41 per cent, up to £20.5m from £14.5m, according to The Lawyer UK200 figures.

The growth comes as no surprise after an acquisitive 12 months for the firm. In June 2012 DWF merged with Scottish-firm Biggart Baillie, creating a combined turnover of around £118.2m. Together the merger included around 166 partners in 12 offices across London, the Midlands, the north of England and Scotland (7 June 2012 ).

DWF managing partner Andrew Leaitherland said the firm had always been clear about its intention to expand.

“We see strategic mergers with like-minded firms as a key part of this” he said in a statement. “The decisions we’ve undertaken in the past year have all been led by market demand and have served to reinforce the expertise we have as a team.”

DWF and Fishburns merged in February, gifting DWF a 22-partner practice with a niche insurance practice and offices across Bristol, Dublin and London (18 January 2013 ).

In February Cobbetts went into administration and the whole business was immediately sold in a pre-pack deal to DWF, confirming the parties’ earlier intentions to merge (6 February 2013 ).

The firm has also been boosted with some high-profile lateral hires including Eversheds ’ former chairman David Gray as a non-executive board director earlier this week (4 June 2013 ).

Gray retired from Eversheds in May having spent four years as chairman and six as chief executive, and was succeeded at the firm by Irish managing partner Alan Murphy (2 May 2013 ). In May the firm recruited 13 lawyers, including five partners, from Eversheds’ Manchester and Newcastle offices in a boost to its property department (9 May 2013 ).

Despite the growth DWF announced recently that more than 80 jobs have been put at risk in a consultation affecting its London, Coventry, Teesside and Manchester offices (31 May 2013 )

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