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Clydes top-paid member took home 36% more in 2015, as firm’s profits rise

Clyde & Co rewarded its highest paid member 36% more, dishing out £1.8m in the 2014/15 financial year. the firm’s LLP filings show.

The figure, up from £1.3m the previous year, does not necessarily equate to the highest paid equity partner and can relate to ‘golden handshakes’ to retiring members.

Staff costs at the firm grew 12% from £155.5m in 2014 to £173.5m in 2015 for the group, with the largest difference coming from salary and wages costs which rose 12% from £138.3m to £154.9m.

The average number of people employed during the same period for the group grew 9% to total 2,503 from 2,307, while the overall number of employees working in practice rose by 134 to 2,503.

In contrast, the average number of LLP members grew during the same period from 222 to 236, rising 6%.

The audited figures show turnover came in slightly higher than previously reported in the firm’s yearly financials, increasing 8% to £396.8m from £366m the previous year. Profit for the financial year available for discretionary division among members grew 8% from £89m to £109.7m, surpassing the £100m mark.

‘We have not seen some of the challenges that some of our marine firm peers have seen. We are diversified in geography and practice focus,’ said Clyde & Co chief executive Peter Hasson.

‘We have seen solid performance in the developed markets and good growth in the US and Asia Pacific,’ Hasson added.

The firm recently expanded in Australia with the hire of a 25-lawyer team from Lee & Lyons in December last year, and is also looking to expand in Latin America.

While the firm looks set to grow internationally, any expansion in the UK seems to be on ice. ‘We are not ignoring the UK. We did the Simpson Marwick merger last year and bedding this down is the focus,’ added Hasson. ‘We reviewed our transaction capability a year ago and have no intention of reviewing it again. We have been hiring in corporate – we have people joining in the Asia Pacific. The key is that our corporate practice works well with the rest of the business.’

In December last year the firm posted its first half results for the 2015/16 financial year, reporting an 8% rise in turnover to £192m.