International firm Herbert Smith Freehills today posted profits up 12% on a marginal increase in turnover in the latest announcement of healthy results from the City. 

In the year ended 30 April profits were £259.5m on turnover up by 2% to £815m. Profit per equity partner rose 8% year on year to £801,000.

Net debt reduced during the year by 16%.

The results relate to the second full financial year sincethe merger of UK-headquartered Herbert Smith and Australian firm Freehills.

Mark Rigotti, joint chief executive, said the development of the firm as a ‘global disputes brand’ has enabled it to bring in some high profile cases and improve its reputation across the world.

Sonya Leydecker, joint chief executive, said London had been a ‘strong performer’, particularly in the corporate and real estate practices. Other successful markets have been Germany, China and Japan.

‘We are very pleased about the progress of the firm in its second full year since the merger, in particular, the increase in overall profitability with a rise in profit, PEP and the amount paid to our partners,’ she said.

‘There is a lot of momentum and confidence in the business.’

The firm now operates from 24 offices across Asia, Europe and North America.

In the last year it has increased the number of panel appointments by 25 to 140, including new places on the panels of Royal Mail, Travis Perkins and EDF Energy.

The firm has also revealed that its alternative legal services business based in Belfast (pictured) continues to grow, with the number of lawyers involved now standing at 240.

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