Revenues increased by 21% to £205m in the latest Dentons UK and Middle East LLP consolidated accounts for the financial year ending April 30, 2018 compared to £170m for 2017. Net profit increased by 27% to £60m.
The Dentons results incorporate six months of trading as a combined firm after the combination with Maclay Murray and Spens went live on October 28, 2017. MMS LLP, which had a different year end to Dentons, has also published its closing accounts for the partial financial year to October 27, 2017 which show revenues of £15.8m and net profit of £3.6m for the period.
Staff costs increased 12.5% compared to the previous year, principally driven by the addition of staff from MMS for the second six months following on from the combination.
The average number of UK members in the year was 155 (176 by year end post-merger), and the highest paid member earned £1.4m.
The closing cash position is broadly in line with the previous year, which is very pleasing given the completion of the merger during the year. The increase in net cash flows from operating activities was offset by increases in cash outflows in relation to investing and financing activities.
Dentons continued to reduce its bank loans from £800k to £nil outstanding at April 30, 2018.
The provision for property costs increased during the year due to vacant space in three of the Dentons UK offices, a majority of which have now been sub-let.
These accounts encompass Dentons' UK and Middle East LLP's operations in Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Doha, Dubai, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jeddah, London, Milton Keynes, Muscat, Riyadh and Watford.
Jeremy Cohen, Dentons' CEO for the UK & Middle East region, commented: "This is our strongest ever set of financial results, following a year of exceptional performance across all areas of the business. It is particularly pleasing to have achieved this level of revenue and profit growth during a period of intensive integration activity arising from the merger with Maclay Murray and Spens. Since joining forces half way through the financial year our lawyers in England and Scotland worked together on more than 1,000 client matters.
"Overall, the bigger picture for us is that the investments we have made in the UK & Middle East over the past few years are now really starting to pay off. Even without the merger our revenues would have grown 9% last year, but it's the five-year trend that tells the real story. Since 2013/14 our revenues have increased by 39%, with PEP rising 60%, as we have successfully pursued a strategy of creating stronger ties with key clients, developing a strong value proposition, and investing to grow market share.
"During this period we have put particular effort into capitalising on the opportunities presented by the Firm's global platform, which over the last financial year expanded to 70 countries following combinations in the Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific. This is now flowing through into the deals pipeline. On the Corporate side, acting for KKR on its binding €6.825 billion offer for the spreads business of Unilever was one of last year's highlights, as was our advice to DP Eurasia on its successful LSE IPO – the first Turkish business to access the premium segment of the UK market. We would also highlight our representation of Aprirose on its £525m acquisition of QHotels – one of the UK's largest hotel transactions of 2017.
"The contentious practices continued to make excellent progress, appearing in court acting for FTSE-100 companies more than any other firm for the second year in a row. We also benefitted from some very substantial matters reaching a high point in the disputes cycle, such as representing RBS in its defence of the Wall claim, and our work on a multi-million dollar arbitration concerning the fit-out contract for Terminal 3 at Dubai Airport. The stand-out matter was our work on the Carillion liquidation, where we acted for the Government and now represent the Official Receiver as Liquidator and PwC as Special Managers."