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Business & Economy

Muckle LLP ‘very pleased’ with financial results amid pandemic challenges

A law firm remains on its “desired growth trajectory” after battling the effects of the pandemic.

Newcastle-based Muckle LLP says it delivered “stable profit” and suffered “only a slight reduction in fee income” in the year to March 2021.

Bosses say an immediate switch to remote working mitigated some effects of the health crisis in the first part of the year, with a pick-up in activity across the second half allowing the firm to regain ground.

According to its results, released this week, turnover was down 5.1 per cent across the 12-month period, with a marked split in performance during the year.

The company reported a 27 per cent drop in the first five months, which was offset by 16 per cent growth across the last seven months.

Officials say corporate and real estate deal activity was greatly reduced during the initial months of the pandemic, with its effects also felt across dispute resolution and insolvency work.

However, they say activity picked up in the second half, with the firm experiencing a period of record growth, thanks to significant deal demand and a resurgence of corporate and real estate interest.

Jason Wainwright, managing partner, said: “The 12 months leading up to March 2021 were unprecedented, with the most significant effects of the pandemic falling fully into our financial year.

“Like most law firms, we faced a difficult period of economic uncertainty in the first five months.

“Along with the obvious organisational and wellbeing challenges, we successfully shifted our entire business to work 100 per cent remotely overnight.

“We were lucky to be better prepared than many law firms, having the infrastructure and a culture of agile working in place well before the pandemic.

“Our prior investment paid dividends and we were able to move seamlessly to remote working as an extension to our existing flexible working environment.”

Jason also reveals the firm’s strong performance enabled it to reward staff with a share in its profits, equating to £524,000 and just short of ten per cent of salary.

The law firm also maintained and improved its Legal 500 UK rankings, with 11 top tier placements, including new top placings for property litigation, IT and telecoms, and continued recognition for its expertise in sport.

And he says the business is continuing to move forward thanks to initiatives that include a new data and digital team and its Muckle Collect debt recovery tool.

He adds: “Against the backdrop of COVID-19, we are very pleased with our overall financial results.

“Our culture and focus on people and their wellbeing, as well as our strong focus on clients’ experience, stood us in good stead during the pandemic.

“The leadership role we continue to play within the North East and Cumbria business community gives us strong building blocks for the future, along with our adaptability, innovation and the hard work and commitment of our people.

“Our 2022 financial year has started strongly, and as a busy, leading law firm with numerous significant client and work wins, we continue on our desired growth trajectory.”