Stephenson Harwood records 10 per cent revenue uptick at half-year point

Stephenson Harwood has posted half-year turnover of £57m – an increase of 10 per cent on revenue of £51.4m at the same point in 2012/13.

It is a forward step for the firm, after only a small rise in half-year income last year, from £49.6m in 2010/11 (28 November 2012).

CEO Sharon White said: “We’ve had a strong performance across the piece. Everyone has reasons to be cheerful.”

However, the firm’s transactional groups have seen particular success.

White continued: “Some of that reflects more activity in the market and we’ve glad we’ve got our share of that. But there’s also an increase reflecting the return in investments made in the last few years. Our new people and offices are hitting their stride.”

Over the past year, the firm has opened two new offices – Beijing in May (1 May 2013) and Dubai in December (23 April 2012). White said the bases are still “relatively small”, but the firm is looking to further bolster their presence in the second half of the year.

“We’ll focus primarily on growing our existing network, but we wouldn’t rule out opening any new offices in future,” White added.

Since the 2012/13 financial year-end, the firm has kept up its lateral hiring pace. Hugh Dong joined the firm’s Beijing office as legal director, alongside two new consultants in Hong Kong (4 November 2013). Former Norton Rose Fulbright partner Barthélemy Cousin joined to grow the firm’s litigation offering in Paris (19 September 2013).

But the firm also witnessed the exit of financial and regulatory partner Charlotte Hill to the City office of Covington & Burling (9 September 2013).

In 2012/13, Stephenson Harwood’s revenue hit a record high, rising 1.9 per cent from £110.2m the previous year to £112.3m (15 July 2013). However, net profit fell from £31.2m to £28.1m, a drop of 13.9 per cent since 2010/11.

Profit per equity partner dropped by 10.9 per cent to £450,000, its lowest point since 2006/07’s £407,000.

The firm declined to disclose its net profit figures at the half-year point, but White added: “We’re pleased with where they are. We’ve had a 10 per cent uptick in revenue and it’d be disappointing if some of that doesn’t translate into profit.”