Profits at Dechert’s UK LLP dropped 21% from £35m to £27.7m for the 12 months to 31 December 2013, according to filings recently made to Companies House, with total revenue falling to £67.7m from £70.0m.
The sharp fall is down to a reverse in UK fees which, during the course of the year, slipped 9% from £55.88m to £50.97m, while staff and property costs rose hitting the LLP’s profitability. This resulted in the office’s highest earning partner experiencing a fall in take home pay from £2.9m in 2012 to £2.3m in 2013.
With costs increasing across the board, staffing outlay added more than £1m alone as the London office added seven associates and counsel plus nine new administration assistants, seeing operating expenses rise to £39.3m from £34.5m.
The drop in fee income at the LLP was lessened by an 18% rise in fees generated outside of the UK, which rose from £14.1m to £16.8m.
The office’s aggressive hiring strategy that defined 2010-2012, a period that saw it take 25 staff from now defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf, has also ended, with the monthly average of partners at the firm falling from 43 to 41. Records at Companies House show that tax partner David Gubbay, has also recently been removed from the partnership.
Dechert, which was among the first to reveal its financials for 2013, saw its global revenue up by 6.6% to $777.2m from $729m. The firm has been expanding rapidly in the last 12 months and recently secured a Foreign Legal Practice licence to open in Singapore, marking its fourth Asian office.