Top five law firms in pay bonanza despite flat profits

 

Top partners at the country’s five most prestigious law firms have shared in a £2.2 billion pay jackpot, according to new research, as Freshfields and Linklaters unveiled contrasting annual results today.

Despite virtually flat numbers from some in the elite Magic Circle of firms — Linklaters’ pre-tax profit was up only 1.6% to £521.9 million — four of them still increased profit per equity partner, a key growth measure, by at least 1%.

The figures, which were collated by Legal Business in its annual survey of the world’s biggest law firms, found that fewer than 1800 lawyers shared the estimated £2.2 billion, meaning they could typically enjoy pay of between £1 million and £2 million each.

These kind of amounts have led leading City lawyers outside the magic circle to question whether or not these firms have failed to keep tabs on pay at a time when their clients have had to cut costs to counter the effects of the global downturn.

Linklaters confirmed that profit per equity partner was more than  £1.3 million in the 12 months to April, up by £73,000 on the previous year.

Turnover for the firm that advised on the Glencore-Xstrata mining mega-merger was a little under  £1.19 billion, an almost identical figure to Allen & Overy, which reported yesterday.

Managing partner Simon Davies said that there were signs in recent months that the demand for legal services was picking up and that Linklaters had increased its “client roster” among the FTSE 100. He added that the increase in pay for partners was “principally driven by efficiencies”, and confirmed that the next stage of the firm’s international expansion was to open in South Korean capital Seoul.

Freshfields announced the best results of the Magic Circle so far — Slaughter & May and Clifford Chance are still to come — with a 7.2% hike in turnover to £1.22 billion.

Equity partners each took home an additional £82,000 to take their pay to £1.4 million.

Ted Burke, global managing partner at Freshfields, said: “Looking ahead, we expect continuing strong demand for advice around complex new regulatory regimes, cross-border litigation and global regulatory investigations, and we hope that, in the medium term, transactional activity will also increase as confidence in a sustained recovery in the global economy strengthens.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
science
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Java Developer - Banking - London - Up to £560/day

£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...

HR Business Analyst, Bristol, £350-400pd

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Account Manager - (Product & Account Management, Marketing)

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried