SNR Denton earnings up 38pc

Elizabeth Fournier
CITY law firm SNR Denton said yesterday that cost cutting and strategic changes had helped it increase profits by 38 per cent in 2011-12, as profits per partner (PEP) rose by 48 per cent to £350,000.

Though overall revenues dipped by six per cent compared to last year, the latest figures mark a significant change in fortunes for SNR Denton, which last year saw PEP – a key measure of law firms’ profitability – fall by 36 per cent.

“We set a goal last year to improve the performance of the business and have managed to do that through cost efficiencies despite a challenging environment,” Matthew Jones, UK chief executive told City A.M.

Though Jones said a reduction in headcount had contributed to the costs saving – with the Paris and Istanbul offices significantly scaled back – he said there was no single standout item that had spurred the reduction in its cost base.

SNR – which was formed through the merger of the UK’s Denton Wilde Sapte and US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in late 2010 – now plans to shift its focus to improving turnover across its offices, and expects a strong stream of revenue to be its booming energy and infrastructure practice.

“The energy team has been very busy throughout the past 12 months and we expect that to continue in the coming year,” said UK managing partner Brandon Ransley.

“We’ve also seen a steady stream of work in the litigation and arbitration department,” he added.

The partners refused to comment on rumours of the firm’s ongoing merger talks with rival firm Salans, but said they were actively looking to recruit over the next 12 months, including adding staff through lateral hires.