Dentons reports ‘strongest ever’ UKME financial results following Maclay Murray & Spens merger



Kenneth Shand and Jeremy Cohen
Pictured (l-r): Kenneth Shand, former CEO of Maclay Murray & Spens, and Jeremy Cohen, CEO of Dentons UK and Middle East

International law firm Dentons has reported its “strongest ever set of financial results” in the UK and Middle East on the back of its merger with Scottish law firm Maclay Murray & Spens.

The latest Dentons UK and Middle East LLP consolidated accounts for the financial year ending 30 April 2018 show revenue up by 21 per cent to £205 million, from £170 million in 2016/17, and net profit up by 27 per cent to £60 million.

MMS LLP, which had a different year end to Dentons, has also published its closing accounts for the partial financial year to 27 October 2017, which show revenues of £15.8 million and net profit of £3.6 million for the period.

The firms’ merger was announced in July 2017 and completed in November 2017.

Staff costs increased 12.5 per cent 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 £1.4 million.

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 £800,000 to nil outstanding at 30 April 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, said: “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 halfway 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 nine per cent last year, but it’s the five-year trend that tells the real story. Since 2013/14 our revenues have increased by 39 per cent, with PEP rising 60 per cent, 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.”

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