Stephenson Harwood points to five-year plan as revenue climbs by 16%

Turnover hits record £264.2m as PEP rises 7% to £775K

Eifion Morris

Stephenson Harwood has posted a 16% increase in revenue to a record £264.2m alongside notable rises in net profit and profit per equity partner (PEP).

Net profit for the year ending April 2024 climbed to just over £90m, representing a 10% increase from £82.4m in FY 2022/23 while PEP rose by 7% from £725K in the previous year to £775K, also a record high for the UK independent firm. 

The firm has also notably increased its rate of revenue growth this year, having boosted income by 11% in 22/23 when PEP increased by 6%.

This is the second set of financial results since the firm unveiled its five-year strategy in May 2022. Over the first two years of the plan revenue has increased by nearly £60m, representing a 28% increase, while PEP has risen by 13%. 

The firm said the enhanced performance was testament to its strategic prioritisation of five sectors: decarbonisation, life sciences, private capital and funds, technology, and transportation and trade.

Chief executive Eifion Morris said the results “demonstrate the hard work and commitment of our people and their dedication to delivering exceptional support to our clients”.

Highlighting the firm’s strategy to double revenue within five years, he noted that despite challenging market conditions, it had achieved close to a 30% increase in revenue.

Morris also pointed to the firm’s balanced approach between contentious and non-contentious practices as a key driver of success.

“Our global litigation practices had a very strong year alongside our private equity and private wealth teams,” he noted. 

He added: “Firms like ours – in the upper mid-market – are now trusted by clients to deliver the type of work they would have given to larger firms only a few years ago.”

Recent litigation achievements include a partial settlement earlier this month of claims brought against Mastercard in the ongoing retailer group action litigation. 

According to Pirical, the firm increased its fee earner headcount by 10% to 529 during the reporting period.

In March, it expanded its Middle East practice with the hire of three partners in Dubai: disputes specialist John Lewis joined from Charles Russell Speechlys while former Ince & Co lawyers Mohamed El Hawawy and Khurram Ali climbed on board along with a team of five associates.

The firm also benefited from the demise of Ince in Asia, adding an eight-lawyer shipping law team in Shanghai and Hong Kong, led by Paul Ho, head of Ince’s China practice. 

And in September, it brought on board Trudy Feaster-Gee from Walker Morris, where she was head of competition law. 

The firm promoted eight lawyers to partnership in May 2024, five of whom are women.

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