Law firm Bermans sees fee income hit record levels

Liverpool commercial law firm Bermans saw annual fee income rise by 8% to and all-time high as it celebrates its 50th year. Tony McDonough reports

Fergal O'Cleirigh
Fergal O’Cleirigh, partner and head of property at Bermans


Liverpool law firm Bermans has marked its 50th year in business by posting a record fee income figure of more than £7.4m for the year ending June 30.

This was an 8% increase on the previous year’s figure of just under £6.9m for Bermans, which has offices in Liverpool and Manchester. The firm employs 79 staff and has 18 partners.

The commercial practice was founded on February 4, 1970, by Keith Berman. It has planned a a number of events during 2020 to celebrate the landmark date but this has been mostly thwarted by the coronavirus restrictions.

Bermans did hold a celebration event in Manchester in February, prior to the lockdown in March, and hopes to be able to hold one in its home city of Liverpool before the end of the year.

The firm’s North West corporate team has advised on more than £90m of corporate acquisitions, share sales and equity investments during the last six months, a record for the team across the North West.

Its employment team, led by Adrian Fryer, has seen double-digit growth for the second consecutive year, with an increase in turnover of 17% in 2019/2020. Rob Maddocks has been recruited to head up the offering in the Manchester office as the team continues to expand.

Another busy year is expected in 2020/2021 as the team advises on the inevitable redundancies that will occur when companies adjust to the end of the Government’s furlough leave scheme in October.

Its asset-based lending team, led by Alex Chapman and David Gledhill, saw strong figures in factoring and leasing finance work and the insolvency team, headed by Phil Farrelly made two senior appointments during the year. Partner Martin March joined from Knights in February and senior associate, James Whittaker, joined in November.

Partner and head of property, Fergal O’Cleirigh, said: “These results are very pleasing and represent a great achievement given the slowdown in transactional activity in the last quarter of the year due to COVID-19.

“Looking forward we are optimistic that the recession will be V-shaped and we have already seen signs of a return to normal levels of activity in property, corporate and invoice/asset finance.

“We have spent much of the lockdown trying to offer clients information and advice to help them through the crisis and we have used technology, in particular Zoom, to help achieve this.

“The events of the last few months will alter the way all businesses operate in the future and have accelerated the increase in remote working, we are focused on ensuring that we continue to communicate effectively and continually with our clients and the wider business community.”

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