Birmingham and London law firm Martineau Johnson has reported a 50 per cent increase in profit per partner, despite an increase in its fee-earners.
The firm said its key profit per equity partner (PEP) figure averaged £260,000 in the 12 months to April 30 while fee income rose by 12 per cent to yield turnover of £23.3 million.
Fee income also rose by 12 per cent, increasing turnover up to £23.3 million in the year ended 30 April 2008, pushing Martineau Johnson up the PEP league table and on a par, if not better, than other leading law firms.
Managing partner, Bill Barker said: “Having achieved a 33 per cent increase in gross profit, we have now got the balance right in terms of turnover and costs.
“We have recruited some really big hitters in their fields, a total of 14 in addition to the three new partners recently promoted from within the firm.
“We’ve definitely raised our game over the last few years by being more opportunistic, and this is now paying dividends.
“Winning new business has been a key factor across all sectors and, in particular significant instructions in respect of banking work.”
Martineau Johnson advised on almost 200 corporate deals, some of them international, with a total value of £1.8 billion. Mergers and acquisitions grew by 15 per cent - accelerated by the changes in capital gains tax, investment-related transactions and fund raising on the AIM market.
Across its markets, Martineau Johnson has been working to expand its international connections in a bid to connect with fast growing economies around the world. This includes a high profile role in a $241 million (£122.3 million) cross border acquisition with colleagues in the USA.
“In terms of energy and education, for example, there are growing international aspects,” said Roger Blears, senior partner.
Mr Blears himself has been responsible for the firm’s growing links with China, through its work with Guangzhou China-UK Cambridge Venture Park (CUC Venture) and the Yangtze River Development and Corporation Board, which aids firms looking to set up a European base in the UK.
Looking at the year ahead, Mr Barker said the legal sector will not emerge unscathed by the economic downturn.
“I think the future is going to challenge many sectors and we are likely to see a real shift in emphasis in terms of the type of work undertaken. There will inevitably be more restructuring work, and insolvencies and disputes will continue to grow.
“Mergers and acquisitions activity will lessen, although there are still people around looking for good investments and a market which is changing will continue to provide lots of opportunities.”