Keystone Law was surprised by a better than expected Christmas period this year, and is now expecting to report profit before tax of above market expectations.
Full year revenues to 30 Jan 2020 were £49.6m, and analysts at Panmure Gordon are now anticipating FY21 revenues of £55m for the law firm, which will issue its full results in May.
Investors cheered the update, with shares in London up 6.1 per cent to 536p per share.
There is usually a slowdown in activity around the Christmas, but the latest December and January bucked that trend at the law firm, and performance levels continued on a high throughout.
Speaking to City A.M. chief executive James Knight said the results took the firm by surprise, and that it was hard to say what had caused the drive in activity.
“The litigation side is getting busier, but it’s not massively contributed [to the Christmas activity],” said Knight.
“I think people have got used to working in lockdown, and there’s been a sense of wanting to get work done before the end of the year as a result of having such a slowdown in March, April and May; it was pent-up demand.
“In the past people have had parties to go to and things. With nothing else to do you might as well work – that’s the only explanation I can give as to why it just didn’t tear off and work carried on very, very strong all the way to the end of the year.”
In December England was under a tier system, limiting the ability of individuals to socialise. Some areas in Tier 4 were under measures akin to a full lockdown.
AIM-listed Keystone operates a self-employed model, and as a result its lawyers tend to choose home working over coming into the office, meaning the firm was already set up for remote working when the pandemic hit.
Some 50 individuals in the central admin team work from offices, but began to work from home with lockdown restrictions.