Provisional profits at Manchester firm JMW Solicitors LLP increased by 12% in the year leading up to its opening of a London office, the firm announced yesterday. Profit in the year ending 30 April is expected to be £6.5m, on turnover up 17% to £38.1m. 

The firm said the profit growth would have been greater but for ‘substantial property and recruitment costs’ in advance of the Square Mile opening in May this year.  

Currently, 32 people including 20 partners have joined JMW’s London office or are currently serving their notice to do so. The London office is expected to contribute £5m in revenue in the 2019/20 year. The firm’s overall target is to record income of £45m for the current financial year. 

Joy Kingsley, JMW senior partner, said: ‘We are excited now to see how our new London office grows and we are committed to building on our great achievements to become the law firm of choice for clients across all our disciplines, across the whole of the country.’ 

The newly-formed family division, incorporating a team recruited from national firm DWF, increased revenue during 2018/19 by 134% with fee income of £4m, while the business crime and regulation team posted a 53% increase in revenue. The litigation team continues to act for over 5,500 claimants seeking compensation from Morrisons supermarket over a data leak; in April Morrisons was granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The firm’s commercial solicitors’ referral scheme Lawshare, which now comprises a network of 430 firms from across the country, increased fees by 28% to £2.9m. 

As well as the 20 new partners in London, 10 partners have been hired for the Manchester office this year.