DWF promises ‘targeted growth’ after almost static revenues

Andrew Leaitherland, DWF
Andrew Leaitherland, DWF
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DWF grew its revenue by a modest one per cent to £191m in the last financial year.

The law firm, which has 12 UK offices - including Leeds - and an outpost in Dubai, said the results followed a year of significant investment in people, technology and infrastructure, but promised to deliver targeted growth in the current year.

Managing partner and chief executive Andrew Leaitherland said the firm’s focus has been on integrating its staff and consolidation through mergers and acquisitions.

He said: “We know it takes time to see the returns and it’s a good indicator of our business that we’ve continued to grow despite these investments, and also operating within markets such as insurance where our clients are experiencing challenges to which we’ve responded.

“We’re confident that these substantial investments in our infrastructure, in our people, and our technology platforms will put us in a stronger position for the future.”

Mr Leaitherland said securing a £45m refinancing facility with a syndicate of five international banks was proof of strong confidence in its planned national and international expansion.

“We’re an ambitious business and we intend to remain operating at the forefront of delivering legal services differently,” he added.

DWF’s strongest performance was in corporate and banking, with revenues up three per cent to £33m, with real estate up one per cent to £33m, “in line with the firm’s strategic growth plans”.

Last year saw the firm hire 24 partners, relocate its 300-strong London workforce to a single office in the City, open its first international office and launch a technology-focused venture, DWF said.

However, the firm also shed around 190 staff from the business, as a result of “natural attrition and minor restructurings”.

Since the end of the financial year, DWF merged with niche insurance practice Watmores in May 2015, strengthening its insurance, rail and local authority sector expertise.