DLA Piper accounts show rise in capital contributions as net debt falls

DLA Piper’s international partnership saw capital contributions by members more than double to £47.7m in 2012-13, according to its latest limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts.

The accounts for DLA Piper International, cover the firm’s operations outside the US, and reflect a move to an all-equity partnership from May 2012.

They show capital contributions increased to nearly £48m compared with £22.4m the previous year, with the rise coming as equity partner numbers outside the US grew from 246 to 733 over the same period as a result of the all-equity move. The filings show the firm still had an average of 19 non-equity members working across the international business during 2013.

Overall turnover across the group, including joint ventures, climbed by 1.5% to £800.4m, with Asia Pacific and Continental Europe seeing revenues rise by 4% to £210.2m and £290.1m respectively, while Middle East group revenue climbed by 15.5% to £21.6m. In contrast, revenue in the UK fell by 3.4% from £287.3m in 2012 to £277.5m. The highest paid member received £1.8m, up marginally on the previous year.

The accounts also show a rise in staff costs from £280.1m to £293.6m, against a slight drop in total staff numbers from 5,075 to 5,018. Net debt fell from £47.5m to £32.4m, with group operating profit and profit available for division among members also falling slightly.

Legal Week reported in July 2013 that profit per equity partner had grown from £596,000 to £674,000 based on results announced by the firm for the 2012 calendar year.

Meanwhile, accounts for Irwin Mitchell’s limited liability partnership showed revenues grew to £192.3m in 2012/13.

The filings do not reflect total takings for the Irwin Mitchell group, which broke the £200m barrier last year, and includes earnings from debt collection agency Ascent and claims handling company Coris.

Also detailed in the LLP accounts are a 6% fall in employee numbers, including a 2.5% drop in fee earners to 1,181 and an 11% cut in administrative staff to 741. As a result, aggregate payroll costs fell by almost 10% to £67.85m.