Weightmans aims for 50 per cent equity partnership

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Weightmans is aiming to increase its proportion of equity partners to 50 per cent, while also attempting to boost turnover to a minimum of £70m during the next five years.

Managing partner Patrick Gaul told The Lawyer the question of letting more fixed-share partners into the equity is one of the firm’s “strategic issues”.

“We’d like half to be equity in five years, but only if the quality’s right. We need to increase overall profit to do so,” he said.

Weightmans currently has 98 partners, around 30 per cent of whom are equity, the remainder being fixed-share. “Equity partners need not be too greedy,” added Gaul.

Increasing profitability in a short space of time may be challenging for the firm, which is expected to post a £5,000-£10,000 rise on last year’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) of £310,000.

PEP growth was affected by office moves in Liverpool, London and Manchester, as well as rental costs, which have increased by around a quarter.

Gaul said he is targetting a turnover of £70m-£75m by the end of 2012 and is hoping that the insurance-strong firm will be hovering around the top 50 mark of UK firms by that point.