RPC has posted a drop in profit per equity partner (PEP) in its provisional financial results for 2022, going against the grain of U.K. firms reporting increases in the metric.
PEP has decreased by nearly 10% to £571,000. It marks the reversal of PEP growth which in 2021 soared nearly 50% to hit £634,000—a record jump of more than £200,000.
Total turnover in 2022, however, is up 10% across the firm’s four offices of London, Bristol, Singapore and Hong Kong, and now stands at £149.4 million, according to the firm’s release.
Firm managing partner James Miller attributed the drop in PEP to “the significant investment we’ve made in real estate in terms of refurbishment to our offices, as well as the spend on upgrading IT”, adding: “This expenditure was needed to ensure we are in the best position to see our growth continue.”
He lauded the firm’s overall growth, however, saying: “The really nice thing to be able to report is that growth has been uniform across the business. There’s no one area that has smashed it and others have limped along.”
Miller also highlighted the hire of Ashurst partner Peter Kwon to head the firm’s Korea office, as well as the refurbishments of their current offices, adding that a refurbishment of its Singapore office would begin in October this year.
With results season well and truly underway, a number of firms have joined the growing pool of firms reporting growth across all metrics this year following a tricky couple of years, the latest being Clifford Chance and Mishcon de Reya.
Mishcon de Reya’s managing partner James Libson predicted that the U.K. economy would likely enter into a recession this calendar year.
Echoing this point, Miller said that, while he thought it was difficult to be definitive on the likelihood of a technical recession, he thought there would certainly be a slowdown in transactional M&A work.
“It will be interesting to see how the general economy goes. If matters do slow down dramatically, then litigation usually picks up but it’s really out of our control,” he said.