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Financials 2020/21: Linklaters maintains Magic Circle resilience with double-digit profit hike

Despite the pandemic, the 2020/21 financial year proved to be an improved outing for Linklaters as revenues inched up and profits saw a robust increase.

Turnover nudged upwards by 2% to reach £1.67bn – a modest increase, but an improvement on the marginal 0.7% growth seen last year. More notable was the firm’s rebounding profits: pre-tax profit stands at £815.3m, a 12% jump from last year, while profit per equity partner (PEP) grew by 10% to hit £1.773m.

Profit per all partners, which takes into account salaried partners, was also up by 10%, reaching £1.707m.

Viewed in the additional context of Linklaters opting not to use any governmental financial support packages throughout the year, the results are a respectable upgrade.

Linklaters managing partner Paul Lewis described the figures as ‘a very strong set of financial results’. He attributed them to ‘the hard work and excellent performance of our people over that period, especially given its unique challenges’. Lewis added: ‘Our global capabilities and enduring client relationships also came to the fore as clients turned to us to help them to navigate the myriad issues arising from the pandemic.’

Lewis is still in the early days of his premiership, having been elected as successor to Gideon Moore by Linklaters’ partnership in July.

Linklaters becomes the latest Magic Circle firm to announce its financial figures this summer, comfortably keeping in line with the standards set by the rest of the group. In July, Clifford Chance similarly unveiled modest revenue growth amid pacier profit increases.

In the same month, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer posted solid 5% increases to both its revenue and PEP, while Allen & Overy completed the trend with a 5% growth in revenue which was outstripped by a striking 17% increase in PEP.