One of Devon and Cornwall’s leading law firms and winner of the UK Law Firm of the Year at the British Legal Awards, has revealed its year end figures, showing strong growth in the sector.
Stephens Scown LLP, which has offices in Exeter, Truro and St Austell, experienced growth of 8 per cent, taking fee income to £19.285m million in the year ended April 2017. In a year of uncertainty due to the EU referendum result, the firm saw this as strong growth. Average fee growth in recent years has been 12.5 per cent.
Since 2013 the firm’s turnover has grown by 50 per cent, representing strong organic, self-funded growth in Devon and Cornwall.
A major development for Stephens Scown in this financial year has been the introduction of its employee ownership scheme – Scownership. This gives all eligible members of staff an equal share in the firm’s profits. Stephens Scown is the first large law firm in the UK to introduce employee ownership.
The firm’s client base continues to grow. Clients include major mining and minerals firms, some of the largest landowners in Devon and Cornwall, as well as many of the brightest and best entrepreneurs and start up companies in the region.
Stephens Scown saw its deals related activity grow by 107 per cent to 174 deals in 2016. The deals relate to business sales, acquisitions, refinancing, equity investment, and management buy-outs.
Stephens Scown advised Canadian firm Strongbow Exploration on its acquisition, from administration, of the South Crofty tin mining project in Cornwall. The firm also acted on Strongbow’s deal with Cornish Lithium Limited, which could lead to a major new industry for Cornwall.
In February 2017 Stephens Scown featured for the third year running in the Sunday Times 100 Best Mid Sized Companies to Work for, ranking number 16. Based solely on feedback from staff, the survey is widely recognised as the best barometer of staff engagement. Stephens Scown was the highest ranking law firm on the list.
It has been an award winning year for Stephens Scown, with the firm collecting nine national awards. Most notably, the firm was named UK Law Firm of the Year by the British Legal Awards, beating some of the biggest law firms in the UK. The firm also won Law Firm of the Year and Best Marketing Campaign awards at the Symphony Legal Awards and Modern Law Awards. Stephens Scown also scooped the Marketing Excellence Award at the Law Society Legal Excellence Awards. Stephens Scown’s success was not restricted to the legal sector, with the firm beating a host of professional services firms to win three awards including Best Managed National Firm at the Managing Partners’ Forum Awards.
Commenting on the firm’s successful year, managing partner Robert Camp said: “This has been another great year. No one knew what impact the EU referendum result would have on business performance, so it is encouraging that we have had another successful year, despite this uncertainty.
“Introducing our employee ownership scheme has been a highlight for me this year. Because of the regulation around law firms, it was very complex for us to bring in, but I’m so glad we made that effort. Giving everyone an equal share of the firm’s profits is the best way to show that we all matter and that everyone’s efforts are appreciated.”
Commenting on the firm’s roots in Devon and Cornwall, Robert added: “Stephens Scown remains committed to the region, clients and sectors we know best. This is where we were established and where we plan to continue to grow. Our success on the UK stage just goes to show that some of the best companies can succeed and thrive in this incredible part of the UK – it is a privilege to live and work here.”