Recently filed accounts at Companies House have shown the highest paid member of the Linklaters partnership took home £2.4m at the end the last financial year, £100,000 more than in 2013.
Turnover at the firm rose from £1.19bn in 2012/13 to £1.25bn in 2013/14 while profit before partner payouts increased by 7% to £377m from £353m.
Capital repayments to Linklaters’ partners fell by 74% during the last financial year, falling from £17.1m to £4.5m as the costs of the firm’s partner restructuring in 2012 fall away. However, the size of the partnership continued to shrink in 2013/14, with the average number of partners down two to 289. The accounts detail how partners in major global cities typically receive between seven and ten profit sharing units, which usually increases by 1.5 parts a year to a maximum of 25. On this basis it takes the average Linklaters partner 10 to 12 years to reach the top of lockstep.
Linklaters said its performance improved in the last financial year due to ‘significant demand for our services has come from banks and financial services clients with contentious and non-contentious regulatory enforcement work, litigation and arbitration being particularly active’.
The firm also benefitted from lower corporate tax rates in the UK, with corporation tax paid globally falling from £23m to £20.4m in 2013/14. Exchange rates made an even bigger impact on the Magic Circle firm’s results, losing £12.2m due to currency fluctuations in the 12 months to 30 April 2014. In the previous year, Linklaters gained £4.8m due to exchange rates.
The number of practising lawyers at the firm rose to 2,325 from 2,290, with the number of business services staff also increasing. Staff costs leapt from £566m to £597m as a result.
However, the firm noted that it had kept costs down by investing ‘heavily in bringing non-legal project management skills to the running of our largest deals and matters, in technology such as document automation, litigation and document comparison tools, in efficiency and flexible resourcing, making the best possible use of paralegals and of our tools’.
The firm also marked the end of its Indian support service, which ceased trading during 2014, with all ‘amounts owed to the LLP…were written down’.