SJ Berwin has announced a 7 per cent drop in turnover for the 2009-10 financial year, with fee income falling from £184m last year to £171m.
It is the second successive year the City firm has posted a decline in turnover, although the result is a marked improvement on last year’s 14 per cent slide from a 2007-08 high of £215m.
Average profit per equity partner (PEP) rose by 9 per cent, with partners taking home an average of £447,000 as opposed to £410,000 in 2008-09. The previous year PEP at SJ Berwin stood at £801,000.
Senior partner Jonathan Blake said: “Last year we set ourselves the goal of raising profitability and we’ve achieved that because we’re focused on profit not revenue, on delivering a high quality service to clients in key industry sectors, and on sensible expenditure management.
“We’ve seen increased activity over recent months and we’re optimistic about the future.”
During the financial year the firm continued to suspend quarterly profit distributions, something it began in the preceding year (7 December 2009).
The firm is currently understood to be in merger talks with US firm Proskauer Rose (revealed by The Lawyer, 6 May, 2010) after discussions with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe broke down.