Wragges increases profits by forty five per cent on last year

Osborne Clarke has reported a 40 per cent growth in turnover, pushing its figure from £35m in 1999/2000 to £50m for the last financial year.

Osborne Clarke saw its most dramatic growth in the Thames Valley – its smallest office with seven partners – which showed an 88 per cent increase in turnover to £5m.

Turnover in London was up by 60 per cent to £19m and in Bristol by 30 per cent to £26m. The firm’s recently-opened Silicon Valley office is not yet treated as a separate cost centre and feeds into the London figure.

Osborne Clarke managing partner Leslie Perrin says that private equity has been a particularly strong growth area for the firm.

He says: “We’ve acted this year for more than 30 different private equity houses and for 19 of them on more than three occasions. That has been a point of growth this year right across the board, in London, Thames Valley, Bristol and Silicon Valley.”

Clients of the firm include 3i, Bridgepoint Capital and Close Brothers.

Perrin says: “Our investments in banking and construction have paid off big-time. Our property department has also had a strong year. It used to be the poor relation, but now its gross figures are extraordinary. It has been on a real roll even before McGuinness Finch.” Osborne Clarke sealed a merger with McGuinness Finch a fortnight ago (The Lawyer, 14 May, and see this issue, page 17).

Recent Osborne Clarke deals include advising Marlborough Stirling on its flotation on the London Stock Exchange, the first UK technology company to float on the main list this year. The firm also acted for the management of newco Pubmistress, formed to facilitate the management buyout/ internal buyout of independent pub retailer Pubmaster Group.

Director of strategy Simon Slater says: “What’s happened in the last year is that we’ve had a breakthrough in the quality of work we’ve been doing.”