Monday 18 November 2019 7:49 am

Listed law firm DWF beats Brexit gloom to grow revenue

Listed law firm DWF managed to boost its revenues in the first half despite persistent political uncertainty, it said today.

In a trading statement to the City, DWF said it had increased group revenues by at least 10 per cent in the six months to the end of October.

Read more: Listed law firm DWF riding high on Brexit-related litigation

Chief executive Andrew Leaitherland said the performance has been “robust” in the face of Brexit disruption that has weighed on business activity.

“The first half of the year has seen a number of important milestones achieved as we continue to deliver on our initial public offering (IPO) promises, developing the business in our first year as a listed entity,” he said.

Shares rose 3.2 per cent to 129p this morning.

DWF’s flotation in March, the first main market listing for a law firm, valued the business at £366m. The company had been aiming for a higher valuation, understood to be between £400m and £600m.

In today’s update, DWF said organic activity had underpinned the “vast majority” of its growth.

Read more: DWF boss Leaitherland on the firm’s post-float fortunes

The firm said this was driven by strong growth in its International and Connected Services divisions, which are expected to record increases of approximately 29 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

DWF’s net debt hit £49.5m during the first half – a £9.5m drop compared the same period last year, but an increase on the £35.3m it reported for the year ending 30 April.

The company said this increase “primarily reflects the normal cyclicality of partner tax payments in addition to the £3m dividend payment in September”.

The firm increased its net partner headcount by 20 on a full-time equivalent basis during the first half – including the recruitment of 15 senior hires, 14 partners and one director to its international business.

Leaitherland said DWF would continue to supplement organic activity with “selective M&A” going forward, adding: “our associations and broad market reach providing a strong pipeline of opportunities”.

Read more: Law firm DWF raises £95m in first-ever main market legal listing

“We continue to be recognised for our innovative approach… and remain focused on delivering our strategy and purpose of transforming legal services through our people, for our clients,” he added.

DWF will announce its full interim results on 11 December.

Main image credit: Getty