Weightmans boosts PEP by 18.5% as revenues remain flat

Weightmans has boosted profit per equity partner (PEP) by 18.5% as revenues hold steady, following a financial year that saw failed merger talks with Newcastle-based Ward Hadaway.

The firm’s PEP has risen to £295,000, up from last year’s figure of £248,000, while turnover has inched downwards to £95m after reaching a record high of £95.1m last year. Net profit has risen 21% to £11m.

Had the Ward Hadaway tie-up gone ahead, the merged firm would have had a combined turnover of around £130m.

Weightmans managing partner John Schorah said: “This is a good result in a year that was both challenging but rewarding – we invested heavily in new technology, office space and staff development, while managing to control our costs and maintaining excellent client service.

“As is expected from the changing legal environment, we continue to see some reduction in revenue from a proportion of our volume defendant claims areas. At the same time, however, we are seeing some fantastic growth in a number of areas including in claims, as we continue to develop the business to suit these changing client requirements.”

Schorah added: “Our strategy is not merger for merger’s sake but we think there will be more consolidation, more to look at with regards to market share and having a wider and deeper offering for clients. We still see merger and lateral hires as a key factor in driving growth over the next five years.”

Weightmans, which has offices in Birmingham, Dartford, Glasgow, Knutsford, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London and Manchester, has 180 partners and more than 1,400 staff. Earlier this year it made up nine lawyers to its partnership, a significant increase on last year when just three lawyers made the grade.