Regional firms come good as City counterparts suffer profits slump

Regional law firms have shrugged off the economic malaise affecting their City contemporaries by reporting solid figures for the last financial year.

DLA, Hill Dickinson, Pannone & Partners and Ward Hadaway have all seen turnover for 2003-04 increase substantially.

Manchester’s Pannones saw billings grow by a robust 20.4 per cent to £29.5m, Ward Hadaway reported a 17.4 per cent upturn in gross to £17.4m, while Hill Dick-inson ended its financial year with a staggering 37.9 per cent boost in revenue to £40m.

For Pannones, where employment and private client experienced blistering increases in billings, profits per partner (PPP) grew by 22 per cent to £244,000.

Meanwhile, Ward Hadaway’s PPP skyrocketed this year, increasing by 37 per cent to £250,000.

At Manchester’s Cobbetts, which last year merged with AIM specialist Fox Brooks Marshall, turnover increased 17 per cent to £30.4m, although PPP remained static at £200,000.

Estimates put DLA’s turnover at £275m, with the firm set to announce exact figures this Thursday (27 May).

The regional results are in marked contrast with the City firms, where flat profits and falling turnovers have marred the financial year.

As reported on Lawyer News Weekly, Linklaters’ profits are down 12.8 per cent to £640,000.

At Allen & Overy, turnover increased by just £2m and the firm is anticipating a dip in profits.

Ashurst, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Lovells are also predicting a profits slump.