BLG’s nascent Brazil base made loss in first year after launch

Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) made a loss on its newly opened Brazilian operation in 2009-10, when the firm posted a 22 per cent profit margin on a firmwide turnover of £81m.

David Jabbari
David Jabbari

According to LLP accounts for the 2009-10 financial year, Brazilian business Barlow Lyde & Gilbert Consultores turned over £115,000 but made a loss of £209,000.

The 2009-10 financial year was the first in which BLG’s São Paulo was operational, with the firm, which is prevented from practicing local law by Brazilian bar rules, launching in the country during 2009 (5 January 2009).

But chief executive David Jabbari emphasised that the loss in the first year of trading was attributable to set-up and premises costs and that the office had made a £34,000 profit in the first eight months of the 2010-11 financial year.

Elsewhere, the firm’s Hong Kong office made a £1.2m profit on a turnover of £8.1m.

The accounts also contain a note estimating that the acquisition of a team containing 17-partners and 80 fee-earners from Halliwells after the end of the last financial year would contribute an additional £17m of income on an annual basis.

As revealed by The Lawyer last year, the ex-Halliwells team is ringfenced in a separate LLP called BLG Claims in order to limit BLG’s liabilities (26 July 2010).

During the first six months of the current financial year BLG brought in total income of £44.5m, up from the previous year’s half-year figure of £38m.

Chief executive David Jabbari told The Lawyer at the time that around around £4m of the £6.5m hike in income was attributable to the Halliwells acquisition (22 November 2010).

He said that income to December attributable to the Manchester operation, which had a small pre-existing presence prior to the arrival of the Halliwells team, was £7.6m.