Keystone Law's H1 profits dip despite 9% revenue rise as Covid restrictions and associated cost savings end

CEO 'delighted' with 9.3% revenue increase as full programme of face-to-face events resumes
Pic of James Knight

James Knight, Keystone Law's CEO

UK-listed virtual law firm Keystone Law has reported a 9.3% increase in revenue to £36.8m against a 2.5% dip in profit-before-tax to £4.5m for the first half of the financial year. 

The results build on the progress exhibited during the same period last year when the remote firm saw its profit-before-tax skyrocket by 118%, while revenue grew 37.6% amid ‘buoyant’ market conditions. Earnings per share, meanwhile, went down slightly from 10.8p to 10.5p. 

The firm pointed out that profitability had been enhanced in the same period last year by £0.2m of cost savings due to Covid-19 restrictions on face-to-face networking events.

By contrast, this year it had 'delivered the full programme of face-to-face networking and social events which form part of the Keystone DNA'. Revenue per principal was £93k in the period compared to £89k last year and £92k in H2 2022.

James Knight, chief executive officer at Keystone Law, said he was “delighted” with the performance, adding: “Our unique business model, with technology enabled remote working and flexibility at its core, has ensured that our lawyers have been perfectly placed to capitalise on the high levels of client demand throughout the period."

In terms of physical growth, the firm said it hired 22 principals in the first half of the year, increasing the overall number of principals to 399. 

Twelve of those senior lawyers joined in January from high-performing traditional firms including Dentons, Simmons & Simmons and Armstrong Teasdale. The move added depth to the firm’s banking and finance, employment, construction, restructuring, immigration, commercial property, tax, aviation, and regulatory practices. 

The firm said it had also continued to invest in its central office team and IT platforms to enable the swift operation of its virtual model. 

Looking ahead, the firm said it expected to ‘deliver another strong performance in the full year which we expect to be comfortably in line with current market expectations’. 

Shares in Keystone Law Group plc fell by nearly 5% to 510p in today's trading.

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