24 Aug 2022

Stewarts unveils bumper results with revenue climbing 43% to £114m

PEP nearly doubles to £2.74m as managing partner bows out after 20 years

Stuart Dench

Litigation-only UK firm Stewarts has unveiled a spectacular set of financial results with revenue jumping by 43% to £114m and average profit per equity partner (PEP) nearly doubling to £2.74m.

The performance for the year ending 30 April saw the firm’s revenue climb from £79.7m last year while its PEP has risen by 86% from £1.48m.

PEP of £2.74m puts the top 50 UK firm well ahead of the most profitable UK Magic Circle firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (£2.07m), as well as the £2.48m achieved by leading London independent firm Macfarlanes. Twenty-one of the firm’s 74 partners have full equity status — the same number as last year — the remainder being junior equity and fixed share partners. 

“In previous years, we have indicated that our revenue and profit patterns will be ‘non-linear’,” said managing partner Stuart Dench, who took over from long-serving head John Cahill on 1 August. “That remains the case, as these results demonstrate.”

The firm deploys ‘innovative costs arrangements’ including ‘risk-sharing fee agreements, litigation funding and after-the-event insurance’ all of which can generate less consistent revenue streams than other lines of work. However, it also pointed out that revenue had increased by 83% over the last four years.

“We have invested in strengthening existing practice areas and developing new areas of work,” said Dench, who added that the firm would launch a policyholder disputes practice next month.

Dench also paid tribute to Cahill, who has stepped down after 20 years as managing partner. When he took up the post, the firm had seven partners and a turnover of £3m. 

The firm has grown to nearly 400 staff in total, who will receive a special bonus this year amounting to 5% of salary.

Launched in 1990, Stewarts has offices in London and Leeds and advises businesses and individual on a wide range of disputes including family, personal injury and clinical negligence while its London commercial litigation team pitches itself as the ‘go to’ firm for litigation against banks and other financial institutions.
 

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