Increased scale and national reputation driving sustainable growth

Knights, one of the fastest growing legal and professional services businesses in the UK, today announces its half year results for the six months ended 31 October 2021.

Financial highlights

  • Revenue increased by 29% to £59.7m (H1 21: £46.2m). Organic growth of 9%.

  • Gross margins increased to 48.0% (H1 21: 46.4%)

  • Underlying PBT rose by 26% to £7.6m (H1 21: £6.0m)

  • Underlying PBT margin of 12.6% (H1 21: 13.0%)

  • Reported PBT £0.8m compared to a loss of £1.1m in H1 21

  • Underlying EPS increased by 18% to 6.98p (H1 21: 5.93p).

  • Exceptionally strong cash conversion of 105% (H1 21: 103%)

  • Lock up, was 99 days (H1 21: 94 days), underpinned by debtor days of 33 (H1 21: 36)

  • Net debt of £23.3m (FY 21: £21.1m) after £7.0m of acquisition consideration and related costs

  • Dividend reinstated with an interim dividend of 1.46p (H1 21: nil, H1 20: 1.10p)

Strategic and operational highlights

Increased scale and national reputation as premium provider driving organic growth

  • Clients actively seeking Knights’ extensive high-quality legal expertise, deep sector specialisms and bespoke advice

  • Greater awareness of Knights supporting continued recruitment momentum, with the majority of high calibre talent joining from the Top 50

  • Continue to broaden our offering, becoming the first legal business to launch a Debt Advisory practice

Extended our footprint, with acquisitions providing strong platforms for organic growth

  • Four acquisitions completed in FY21 have performed in line with expectations, with good progress across key metrics including the reduction of work in progress and debtor days

  • Successful integration of Keebles and Mundays, strengthening presence in Yorkshire and the South East

  • Entered the North East with acquisition of Archers in Teesside, which completed in November, with early integration encouraging

  • New Revolving Credit Facility of £60m secured, providing further flexibility to selectively execute strategically compelling acquisitions

Expanded Client Services Directors team leading our strong culture and integration

  • Expanded team of Client Services Directors, who lead the integration of new talent and acquisitions as well as managing the Group’s offices

  • Successful integrations and strength of culture demonstrated by low work in progress and debtor days despite the impact of recent acquisitions and new recruits

Current trading and outlook

  • Our increased scale and national reputation have created a greater awareness of Knights, supporting continued strong momentum in the recruitment of quality senior recruits from other top 50 law firms

  • Our breadth and depth of resource is attracting larger quality clients seeking excellent professional services support in the regions

  • The integration of recent acquisitions and new joiners is progressing well

  • We anticipate good trading in the second half, which will be against a stronger comparative, and we continue to expect our typical second half weighting

  • We are confident in delivering a full year performance in line with market expectations

  • We are reviewing a growing pipeline of acquisition opportunities

David Beech, CEO of Knights, commented:

“We have delivered another strong period of profitable, cash generative growth, with our increased scale and national reputation as a premium provider attracting high calibre talent, quality work and acquisition targets across the regions.

“An increasing proportion of our new recruits are joining us from Top 50 law firms and we are actively reviewing a growing pipeline of acquisitions. Despite our recent organic growth and acquisitions, we have maintained our industry leading levels of debtor days, which is testament to the strength of our integration process and strong culture of cash collection.

“Our outlook for the medium term is positive with recruitment supporting good levels of organic growth, and with further acquisition opportunities. We continue to build on the critical mass we achieved last year, further cementing the strong position we have built in key markets for legal services outside London.”

A presentation of the half year results will be made to analysts via a webinar at 9.00am today. To register interest in attending, please contact Tom Gardner at MHP Communications on 020 3128 8223 or email

To download the full press statement please click here.