SNR Denton chief tells partners to hold their nerve after 35 per cent slump in UK PEP

Average profit per equity partner (PEP) at SNR Denton’s UK LLP fell by 35.6 per cent in the last financial year, dropping from £360,000 to £232,000.

Matthew Jones
Matthew Jones

The international firm, which was formed via the merger between US-based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and UK-based Denton Wilde Sapte in October 2010, has also revealed that turnover for the UK LLP dropped 8 per cent to £154.4m. In 2009-10 Dentons turned over £167.5m.

Net profit stood at £19.8m compared to £31.4m for Dentons during the previous financial year, marking a 37 per cent fall.

The UK LLP covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), with the US side of the merged business reporting on a calendar-year basis.

The large drop in profitability was expected, with SNR Denton UK CEO Matthew Jones admitting to The Lawyer last month that this year’s financials would make for grim reading (30 May 2011).

Commenting on the figures, Jones said: “In a year of transformation for our firm, including the addition of over 50 partners worldwide, the tough climate of 2010-11 did not meet the economic aspirations of our EMEA business.

“However, based on the steps being taken by the new EMEA board and continuing improvements in trading, we’re budgeting for a substantial turnaround this year. Accordingly, the year-end financial results don’t reflect our present direction and we’re planning for significantly stronger profitability across the firm.”

Jones, who was appointed CEO in March, recently launched a three-month review of practices and sectors with an emphasis on improving profitability.

He said: “We’re seeing exciting growth in work referrals and collaboration across our geographies, supported by the new global co-ordination of our eight sectors.

“Our current strategy review is focused on areas of growth for us, and for our clients, and will be the driving force behind our plans going forward.”