Top 100 Companies: Law firm in Sheffield top spot despite dip in profit

Ben Ward of Henry Boot, Coun Joan Dixon and Gould MD Jane Bradshaw at the start of work at Markham Vale
Ben Ward of Henry Boot, Coun Joan Dixon and Gould MD Jane Bradshaw at the start of work at Markham Vale
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Law firm Irwin Mitchell was the most profitable company in Sheffield last year - but pre-tax profits fell 10 per cent on the year previous.

The company, based at Millsands in the city centre, made £21.7m, down from £24.2m in 2013.

The firm, which has been rapidly expanding in recent years, said profit before tax ‘has reduced due to a combination of law reform and continued investment in developing the business through recruitment, acquisition and from the opening of a new office’.

Today, it is the 20th largest law firm in the UK and among the top 50 in Europe, operating out of 10 UK offices. The firm says it employs more than 2,300 people.

Sheffield’s biggest construction company Henry Boot is second on the list, making a pre-tax profit of £18.4m, more than £4m up on 2013.

The company has also climbed 10 places on the Top 100 turnover table to 23 - on its best financial results since 2007 - reflecting a post-recession upswing in the sector.

Check out the top 100 companies by turnover in South Yorkshire - click to view or right click and save as to download

The company operates nationwide but enjoys a steady stream of business close to home on Markham Vale business park near Chesterfield at Junction 29A of the M1.

It is Derbyshire County Council’s construction partner on the huge former colliery site which is already home to more than 20 companies in new premises with more in the pipeline, including the biggest one yet, Great Bear Distribution.

Steel manufacturer, The Abbey Group, continued its run of having high profits compared to turnover. It is third on the Sheffield list with £17.3m pre-tax profit last year on £42m turnover - an increase on the £10m the year previous.

It climbed to 94th on the main table, up one place from 95th in 2014.

The Abbey Group - owned by Stephen and Jacqueline Neal and based in Oughtibridge - is one of Europe’s leading metal forging and stainless steel suppliers to the oil and gas industry.

Last year the firm won a Queen’s Award for international trade. Export grew by £5m after Jacquie ran a targeted campaign with UKTI, South Yorkshire International Trade Forum and South Yorkshire International Trade Centre.

Jacquie was business person of the year at the 2014 Sheffield Business Awards.