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RPC achieves double-digit organic growth in revenues and profits

'We're continuing to pick up higher quality market share from other firms,' says Jonathan Watmough 

7 July 2015

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Top-100 UK law firm RPC has recorded double-digit growth in revenues and profits in the 2015 financial year.

Profits rose by 17 per cent to £31m from a 12 per cent increase in revenues to £94m, bringing it very close to entering the top-40 rankings this year.

"It's a credit to the exceptional work of everyone across the business that we've achieved these results in a climate which remains uncertain and challenging," said RPC's managing partner Jonathan Watmough.

"We're continuing to pick up higher quality market share from other firms, and we're working smarter, too."

The firm has achieved an average passwordfive-year compound revenue and profit growth of 11.5 per cent and more than 50 per cent overall during the same period.

"We're clearly very happy with last year's results, but it's the story of sustained performance year on year that I'm most pleased with," commented Watmough.

"Posting sustained growth throughout the recession without recourse to merger is a significant achievement. We remain fiercely independent and hugely protective of our culture - we wouldn't let anything compromise that."

During the recession, a strategy was put in place to broaden and strengthen the firm's practice areas, which included significantly increasing headcounts.

"We said in October 2008 'never let a serious crisis go to waste'," Watmough told Managing Partner.

"We knew that we were stable, we knew that we would weather the storm, but we also knew that this was a peculiar opportunity to really upgrade the firm."

The firm re-engineered its people development processes and introduced in 2009 a 'Career Builder' meritocratic performance-management system for trainees through to partners.

"We've invested heavily in recruiting and developing people, listening to and understanding clients, and upgrading our systems and processes. Last year, we saw the results of that investment bearing further fruit, and are confident that that trend will continue into FY16," said Watmough.

At the heart of RPC's talent strategy is rewarding lawyers for institutionalising clients, giving work away internally and being generous with their time and experience across the firm.

Members of the full-equity partnership are rewarded with a higher share of the firm's profits for teamwork than for billable hours.

"It's what we call a partnerial meritocracy and it's not at all driven by metrics; it's driven by behaviours," Watmough told Managing Partner.

"We will reward someone more for what they do for their fellow partners in the firm than for what they do for their own account."

 

 

 

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