Birmingham law firm Martineau has won a spate of new contracts with Midland colleges and universities despite the challenges facing the education sector.
The city’s second biggest legal company, based in Colmore Row, has reported a number of new wins in the past year which the firm says has helped it to recover from the recession.
Latest contracts – won through competitive tendor – include the The University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Derby College and Amersham and Wycombe College.
Martineau advises more than 90 higher and further education establishments and sponsors the Association of Heads of University Administrations (AHUA) – the organisation for senior university managers responsible for professional services.
The difficulties facing the education sector have been widely documented as the public purse strings have been tightened and some of Martineau’s education team growth can be attributed to its ability to help universities and colleges find and develop alternative income streams to replace their central funding – a requirement that is expected to increase in the coming months.
Partner and head of the education team Smita Jamdar said: “We’ve worked hard and we’ve never lost sight of our ability to deliver a level of service few firms could match and certainly none our size.
“Interestingly, in a sign the education sector is making determined efforts to cut costs, the two Nottingham universities combined their efforts in a joint procurement process.
“We were asked to pitch to a panel led by the procurement team at Nottingham Trent University, but with each university reserving the right to appoint the firm best suited to their requirements. Although they could appoint different firms, they both appointed Martineau to their panels; a decision that makes me immensely proud of the team and the effort we put in – the work is shared between more than 90 lawyers across the firm and they all continue to play their part in our success.”
Martineau, which has 20 equity partners, 25 non-equity partners and 115 lawyers altogether, reported a 10 per cent increase in profit per equity partner (PEP) – the measure used by law firms to measure success – to £205,000 on the back of a three per cent fall in revenue to £20.5 million.
Martineau said the results were broadly in line with its expectations for the year. The PEP rise was a sign of improvement after the previous year’s results, which saw the figure drop by 25 per cent in 12 months as corporate and property work faded away in the recession.
Managing partner Bill Barke picked out the investment funds team, as one of the top performers within the firm, and said he expected there to be a rise in litigation work coming in over the next year, particularly within the construction sector.