Surge in online instructions drives JMW profit growth

Manchester firm JMW has posted its year-end results for 2012/13, revealing a 13 per cent increase in revenue thanks to a significant boost in online instructions.

joy kingsley jmw
Joy Kingsley

According to the firm’s senior partner Joy Kingsley, 549 cases billing £710,000 came from the web last year, with £632,000 added to work in progress. This marks a 97 per cent increase from the 279 cases billing £281,521 in 2011/12 and an even further hike from the 100 cases billing £100,000 the year before.

The increase contributed to a revenue rise of 13 per cent last year, from £13.2m in 2011/12 to £15m in 2012-13. The firm did not disclose a profit figure, but said that it had grown 25 per cent over the same period.

“I think that online instructions could be a key strategy for firms across the country who have full-service offerings and are able to invest in this,” Kingsley told The Lawyer. “Not everybody uses a website for the same thing, with many commercial firms using their website as more of a brochure, but online is very attractive to SME clients provided you have the right structure.”

At JMW that structure includes a 12-person call centre. “You have all sorts of people competing in the market so if you don’t call back the instruction could go to someone else,” highlighted Kingsley.

In terms of practice area the firm’s family group experienced the biggest boom with an increase in fee income by 125 per cent. Part of this boost could be credited to the hire of former Pannone duo Catherine Jones and Beth Wilkins to the department in 2011.

Kingsley resigned from Pannone, where she was managing partner and then senior partner, in the summer of 2010 (25 May 2010). She joined JMW in September 2010.

The firm is understood to be on the verge of a small takeover although no details were confirmed at the time of writing.