Kennedys’ mergers pay off with 30 per cent revenue hike

Consecutive years of major investment has paid off for commercial litigation firm Kennedys, which has reported a 30.7 per cent jump in turnover at the 2008-09 year end.

In the past financial year the firm’s turnover swelled from £51.5m to £67.3m while average profits per equity partner (PEP) rose 16.7 per cent from £300,000 to £350,000. The firm’s PEP figure had stayed flat at £300,000 between 2006-07 and 2007-08, reflecting investment in the firm.

In the last year Kennedys has invested heavily in the growth of its UK offices. Last June it boosted its London office with the acquisition of  insurance boutique Davies Lavery (19 June 2008).

At the end of the 2007-08 financial year Davies Lavery had a turnover of £9m.

That merger was followed in July by the takeover of Reynolds Porter Chamberlain’s (RPC) Tiverton office, which joined with Kennedys’ Taunton base (28 July 2008).

The firm then launched two consecutive assaults on DLA Piper’s Birmingham office, taking eight fee earners in October and returning in December to take three partners and two legal directors (15 December 2008).

Turnover from the firm’s February 2008 Manchester merger will also reflected be reflected in the 2008-09 full-year figures. The firm launched in Manchester after raiding local rival Halliwells for a team of three and merging with Kershaw Abbott Solicitors (4 February 2008).

That investment is now reflected in the firm’s year-end figures with revenue per partner also bucking market trends by jumping 27.3 per cent from £1.32m to £1.68m.

The firm has also made significant investment in new offices in the heart of the City, taking five floors in Fenchurch Avenue.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas (pictured) said: “As The Lawyer reported in last year’s 200 survey [The Lawyer UK 200] our minimal growth in 2007-08 disguised a considerable amount of investment in people and infrastructure, which has borne fruit in 2008-09. I now look forward to our further investment in 2008-09 taking us onwards and upwards during 2009-10.”