Profits squeeze as top-50 firms open results season

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Preliminary results posted today by three top-50 firms show profits falling in 2012-13 on modest rises in turnover.

At Osborne Clarke, European mergers boosted turnover by 14% to £112m, according to its provisional results posted today.

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However like-for-like revenue was down from £98m in 2011/12 to £97m last year and profits slipped 5% from £37m to £35m. The profit per equity partner figure has yet to be confirmed.

Managing partner Simon Beswick said the results are ‘pretty much’ as the firm expected in a year that has seen it add to its cost base – with international and London growth. ‘Overall revenue growth reflects our expanding European presence but masks a couple of slow periods for our transactional business in what has been a lumpy market.’

The firm has begun a redundancy consultation over 12 lawyers’ jobs ‘across the patch’, Beswick said.

Meanwhile SJ Berwin announced unaudited turnover up 2.5% to £184.6m. The firm did not announce profits, but confirmed that profit per equity partner is expected to be about 10% down on last year.

At Pinsent Masons provisional turnover rose 5% to £309m. No figure on profits was released. The firm said the turnover figure shows that revenues grew by 40% in the wake of the takeover of national firm McGrigors.

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