Legal Business Blogs

Dentons UK top earner reaped benefits of Maclays takeover with 27% pay rise

Dentons’ highest paid UK partner took home £1.4m in the year to April 2018 compared to £1.1m the year before, the firm’s first accounts since the merger with Maclay Murray & Spens show.

Covering the firm’s 14 offices in the UK and Middle East, the accounts, published today (30 January), incorporate six months of trading as a combined firm since the tie-up with the Scottish shop went live on 28 October 2017.

Maclay’s assets were valued at £11.5m, which will be paid to its partners. Dentons added three UK offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow through the merger, while the number of equity partners grew from 129 to 176.

Turnover at the combined firm was £205.6m, up 21% from £170.3m the previous year, while operating profit rose 26% to £60.7m from £48.2m. Regional chief executive Jeremy Cohen said that without the merger, revenue would have been up 9%.

Staff costs rose 12% to £95.5m as fee earner headcount grew 13% to 546 and the firm added 35 business support staff to reach 480.

Cash at the end of the year was down 11% to £6.2m from £7m, as an increase in inflow from operating activities to £58.5m from £39.5m was offset by a rise in the outflow for investing and financing activities. In particular the firm invested more than four times the amount of cash, £9.8m compared to £2.2m.

The accounts also show the firm had no bank loans at the end of the financial year, compared to loans for £800,000 the previous year.

‘It is particularly pleasing to have achieved this level of revenue and profit growth during a period of intensive integration activity arising from the merger with Maclay Murray and Spens,’ said Cohen.

Legacy Maclay’s last accounts were also out this week, showing the firm turned over £15.7m in its last few months of pre-merger life, from June to October 2017, while operating profit stood at £3.6m over the same period. In its last full financial year to 31 May 2017, the firm’s revenue was £44.2m and its operating profit £12.1m.