National law firm Shoosmiths has broken through the £100 million income bracket for the first time.
And it says its Birmingham office, which has grown more than 19-fold in staffing terms since it opened five years ago, is helping to drive its financial success after seeing fee income rise for the fifth year running.
Without giving any underlying figures, Shoosmiths says the office has seen a 35 per cent rise in income and an 87 per cent rise in net profit over the last 12 months.
The Birmingham corporate and commercial teams achieved one of the healthiest increases, with income up 46 per cent on last year,while the employment law team registered growth of 144 per cent. Income for commercial property, which Shoosmiths says is one of the largest operations of its kind in the city, was up 18 per cent, while commercial litigation posted a 38 per cent increase.
Although fee income for the firm rose by nine per cent, net profit dropped by 24 per cent – from £16.3 million to £12.4 million. Profit per equity partner came in at £327,000, a 20 per cent fall fall from last year’s £407,000.
Birmingham partner and head of office Joel Kordan said: “These results reflect strong growth in our business-to-business legal services. Our profits were slightly ahead of expectations, although they have dropped year-on-year because of the challenging market conditions, which are affecting consumer services and impacting on our volume-driven residential conveyancing and legal expense claims practices.
“In our national strategy six years ago, we committed to embark on a programme of fast-track organic growth to reposition us in the market as a national firm and to reduce our dependency on the claims work we undertake for legal expenses insurers.
“We have successfully reduced that dependency by 77 per cent in the last six years by investing in other areas of the business, including boosting the number of lawyers in our business-to-business services by 73 per cent.”
Shoosmiths’ Birmingham office has grown from eight to 154 people in the past five years, and offers a full range of legal services. In the past 12 months the firm has invested locally in new social housing, clinical negligence, banking and insolvency, and consumer credit teams.
New clients won last year include Moto, Caterpillar Financial Services, Marston’s Pub Company, Hewlett Packard, and a panel place advising the Law Society on commercial issues.