As results season gets into full swing, the City says it is ‘cautiously optimistic’ for next year, despite several firms reporting sliding profits.

Taylor Wessing and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) have both announced a drop in profit for the year ended 30 April 2020. At Taylor Wessing, UK profit fell by 8% to £57.6m, while profit per equity partner (PEP) dipped by 7% to £612,640. Both figures are the second-highest on record, however.

Meanwhile, global profit at HSF is down 8% year on year at £283.2m and PEP has fallen by 10% to £857,000. However chief executive Justin D’Agostino said he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ as the impact of Covid-19 so far has been ‘less severe’ than originally expected.

Despite a tumultuous final quarter, not all firms have seen profit fall. Simmons & Simmons reported that profit has risen 6% to £126m, while PEP has increased by 7% to £756,000. The firm said the figures will help it ‘navigate through the difficult times that no doubt lie ahead’.

International firm HFW also announced a buoyant set of results, reporting that profits have risen by 9% to £47.3m while PEP has leapt by 11% to £526,000.

The firm’s revenue has now increased by more than 40% over the past five years, and 61% of HFW’s turnover is now generated outside the UK. It has attributed its growth to rapid international expansion and high client demand for expertise in aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance, and shipping. The practice has completed 11 international office openings, mergers and associations since 2016.