Thursday, 18 July 2019

TLT banks 7% revenue lift as £500k experimentation fund beds in

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TLT banks 7% revenue lift as £500k experimentation fund beds in

TLT has its sights on the £100m revenue barrier after adding nearly 50% to its top line over the last five years and having ring-fenced £500,000 to invest in enhancing its offering.

The Bristol-based LB100 firm said on 17 July its revenue for the 2018/19 financial year was up 7% to £87.6m. That is 48% higher than in 2014 and more than double its 2012 turnover. The firm does not announce an unaudited profit figure but it is expected to have similarly grown: last year, profit rose 22% to £23.4m.

TLT managing partner David Pester told Legal Business the sustained growth at the firm reflected the investment it had made over the last five years. Its financial services sector had seen particular growth, driven by demand for disputes and investigations, as well as open banking, cyber and financial crime.

‘We built a platform in a phase of our development four or five years ago and what we’re seeing is the return on investment we made in terms of expertise deepening and also developing further services in sectors we operate in,’ he said. ‘The results are a recognition that that has been an effective strategy for us and continues to be so.’

The firm made 13 lateral partner hires last year, as well as four partner promotions, and acquired real estate firm Leslie Wolfson in Scotland. It also announced the creation of a £500,000 investment fund last year to help test technology and other ideas more quickly before providing them to clients.

The initiative, called Future Law, is led by digital sector head James Touzel, with the firm ring-fencing the fund as part of its budget for this year. The idea was that dedicated budget and internal resource would allow the firm to try new technology and ideas more quickly, rather than getting bogged down in presenting business cases as part of the normal governance process.

Pester told Legal Business it had allowed the firm to experiment, with the whole firm encouraged to offer new ideas. The firm also takes ideas to clients to see if they want to work with them on various concepts.

‘We as a sector are not very good at attempting things where there are concerns it may not work, we either want it to be right or wrong. We’re not as good at being entrepreneurial,’ he said. ‘I’ve had direct feedback from general counsel that they like a process where they can be involved in helping us help them develop new ideas.’

The firm now expects to surpass £100m in revenue in its next stage of growth. It will also be strengthening its balance sheet to ensure it had options in the future.

‘People have been trying to predict for the last three years whether or not there’s going to be some kind of affect as a consequence of political uncertainty and wider economic challenges, but at the moment it’s just too difficult to read,’ Pester commented. ‘It’s all about having options, you can only respond to competitors and the market, you don’t control those aspects.’

hamish.mcnicol@legalease.co.uk