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Acquisitions boost Hill Dickinson coffers

Halliwells deal aids expansion plans

Published on October 14th 2010.

Acquisitions boost Hill Dickinson coffers

Law firm Hill Dickinson, which has offices in Liverpool and Manchester, posted a small increase in profits during a ‘difficult’ economic climate.

The firm saw turnover for the year to April 30, 2010 grow to £87.5m (2009: £82m) and profits rose by £2m to £22m. After members’ remuneration, profits stood at £10.4m.

The year-end marked the first 12 months trading from its Singapore office and it also bought another firm, Middleton Potts, which specialises in marine law.

In July, it bought the business and some assets of the Liverpool and Sheffield offices of collapsed Manchester rival Halliwells. The move saw Hill Dickinson take on another 130 staff. It said the price paid was dependent on what Halliwells’ administrators could recover.

The notes to the accounts said the firm has seen increased revenues in litigation and claims services but work had dropped off in the commercial property sector. “We continue to be ambitious for the future,” it said.

The firm was understood to be looking to move from its Fountain Street offices earlier in the year, despite having several years remaining on the lease. Several alternative buildings were looked at but the interest is now believed to have cooled.

The company employed 1,141 staff (2009: 1,086) and had a wage bill of £39.3m (2009: £37.8m). Around £10m of the firm’s profits was shared by the 116 members, with the highest paid receiving £606,000.

Peter Jackson, Hill Dickinson’s managing partner said: "Despite the difficult economic climate we are currently operating within, we are pleased with our results for the year. Unlike many legal businesses we have continued to grow and provide new employment opportunities in all offices - none more so than in Manchester where our business increased by 18 per cent.

“We remain focussed on the future. We have made a series of strategic investments that have enhanced both our client service offering and international reputation. These investments will not only bolster the business in the face of the recession, but will also enable sustained growth."

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