Withers posts 64 per cent profit rise on back of static turnover

Withers has reported a 64 per cent rise in profitability for the 2009-10 financial year while turnover slid slightly to £92.7m.

Margaret Robertson
Margaret Robertson

Net profit at the firm rose 64 per cent from £13.6m in 2008-09 to £27.3m, while turnover fell 0.6 per cent from £93.3m to £92.7m. The firm’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure rose by 31 per cent from £273,000 to £357,000.

Managing partner Margaret Robertson said profits were underpinned by a resurgence in private client work.

She said: “Profit is up significantly, which is encouraging. We’ve done the same amount of work with fewer people and the mix of work has changed.

“Last year there was a drop off in wealth planning work for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, that’s starting to come back.”

The firm’s private client practice, which comprises both family work and an ultra-high-net-worth practice, contributed 57.9 per cent of the firm’s turnover, the equivalent of £53.67m. Robertson said a renewed confidence in the economy meant that the firm’s wealth planning practice had seen an increase in activity.

At the beginning of the financial year Withers became the first onshore UK firm to open in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Initially this was intended to be a dispute resolution hub, but the firm now plans to expand its offering to include corporate, banking and finance transactions, funds and regulatory work (31 May 2009).