Simmons’ LLP accounts reveal tightened financial management

Simmons & Simmons’ has published its LLP accounts for 2012/13, revealing that it substantially tightened up its financial management over the course of the year.

The firm reduced its work in progress (WIP) income by £286,000 in 2012/13, after witnessing an increase of £1.1m in 2011/12.

The firms debtor results were just as positive, decreasing by £10.8m last year after a rise of £11.8m in 2011/12.

Senior partner Colin Passmore said: “You always see movement in work in progress, and the change could have potentially been much bigger.” He continued: “It’s a reflection of how well we’ve billed throughout the year. Our finance director David McLaughlin runs a pretty tight ship and we have regular billing reviews.”

He added that the firm is to implement a new financial IT system shortly with a view to further integrating its finances.

Over the course of last year, Simmons’ total number of equity partners increased from 135 to 145, largely thanks to lateral partner hiring in order to bolster its three new offices in Singapore, Munich and Bristol.

While the firm’s group revenue inched down 0.5 per cent, from £248.8m to £247.6m, its operating profit substantially increased last year – rising 28.5 per cent from £53.4m to £68.6m.

Its highest earner pocketed £800,000, marking an 11 per cent drop on its £900,000 figure the previous year.

Simmons’ LLP accounts also reveal a £48m revolving capital loan, used to finance its working capital requirements. For more than 10 years the firm has used the loan facility guaranteed by partners rather than calling for capital contributions from individuals. This is renewed automatically every three years.

At the end of the 2012/13 financial year, the firm’s unaudited financials showed Simmons’ net profit remained stable at £66.2m compared to £66m the previous year. Its profit per equity partner (PEP) fell 0.6 per cent from £528,000 to £525,000 (9 July 2013).