Revenues up but PEP down at Watson Farley and Mills & Reeve

Watson Farley & Williams has seen profits per equity partner (PEP) dip by 13% despite turnover breaking through the £100m barrier for the first time.

After posting a figure of £446,000 last year, PEP has now slipped to £388,000 following a year in which the firm invested in a new Frankfurt office which opened in January.

Revenue, meanwhile, has risen by 2% to £102.1m from £99.8m the previous year – a rise which can be partly attributed to the firm’s Hong Kong office, which launched in March 2012.

Following the Hong Kong launch, in December the firm took a four-strong litigation team from Holman Fenwick Willan to join the firm’s practice in the region.

However, in April it was revealed that the firm had offered a number of its trainees £5,000 to defer the start of their training contracts by one year.

Watson Farley managing partner Michael Greville (pictured) said: “We are pleased to pass the £100m milestone, delivering on our strategy of working with investors, financiers and operators in our core sectors to a consistently high standard across jurisdictions. This level of income represents an increase of over 75% in the five years since 2008.

“Opening two new offices in Hong Kong and in Frankfurt and investment in a number of lateral hire partners last year has, as expected, impacted the firm’s profit and average profit per equity partner is set to be around £390,000 this year.”

Elsewhere, Mills & Reeve has posted a 2% increase in turnover from £69.4m to £70.9m, while PEP saw a slight fall, down from £326,000 to £324,000.

The figures do not include the 1 June merger with Manchester firm George Davis, which managing partner Guy Hinchley expects to lead to substantial growth this coming financial year.

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