Turnover (£m): 28.4
Average PEP: 182
Equity spread (£k): 150-225
Profit margin (%): 20
RPL (£k): 146
Ambitious Midlands firm Shakespeares continued its growth spurt last year with not one, but two mergers, adding £7m Needham & James in July 2010 and £6.6m Nottingham firm Berryman in November.
Annualised turnover for the three firms hit £28.4m, although the combined revenue for the time during which all three were part of Shakespeares was lower at £23.3m.
Chief executive Paul Wilson is targeting a turnover of £50m in the next 18 months, with the aim of making Shakespeares a leading mid-tier firm. The expansion plans are driven by concerns about the future of smaller regional practices with the advent of the Legal Services Act. They are funded by cash. Shakespeares has a trading overdraft it occasionally dips into and equity partners each contribute £130,000.
The business has expanded, with an agreed budget for profit that Shakespeares has met several years in a row. Net profit stood at £5.6m for 2010-11, with an average profit per equity partner figure of £182,000, although the amount received by the equity partners varied, as this group increased by 13 during the year following the mergers.
All partners are paid in cash during the year and the remuneration system is entirely merit-based. The equity partnership includes two non-lawyer partners.
The 160-day lockup target was not met last year, with work-in-progress of 95 days and 120 debtor days accounted for by the two mergers. Almost 30 per cent of revenue came from the property practice, which performed strongly.