Legal Business Blogs

Freshfields LLPs reveal revenue £40m short of previously stated turnover

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer‘s Companies House filings state turnover as £40m lower than its previously reported revenue figures for 2015/16, with the firm claiming exchange rates are the reason for the discrepancy.

The Magic Circle firm posted a 0.5% revenue lift in its Companies House filings for the 2015/16 financial year, after it claimed a 7% turnover boost for the same period when it unveiled results last year. The LLPs put the Magic Circle firm’s revenue at £1.29bn from £1.28bn the year before, £40m short of its earlier reported results.

In July 2016 Freshfields said its revenue for 2015/16 was up by 7% to £1.33bn for the financial year, clawing back from 2014/15’s flat results when revenues rose just 1% to £1.26bn.

Freshfields indicated its LLPs use average exchange rates for the year, while the figures it releases use year-end exchange rates.

The accounts also show a 24% tumble in operating profit from £514.2m to £392.3m. This figure was impacted by a sharp increase in the firm’s pension provision which stood at £94.4m for 2015/16, due to an accounting treatment.

According to the accounts, Freshfields’ senior partner, managing partners and heads of global practice groups took home £18.1m, up by 8% on the £16.8m the team received in 2014/15.

Freshfields’ average number of members dropped by ten to 324 with the number of fee earning staff also decreasing by 5% last year from 2,640 to 2,511. The number of secretarial staff dropped by eight to 2,111. Staff costs increased, however, by 4% to £584.5m.

The firm advised on 190 M&A deals worth $587.6bn in 2015 according to Dealogic’s global league table, taking on a number of key roles in notable transactions. Freshfields instructed Anheuser-Busch InBev in its £108bn merger with SABMiller and won the mandate advising BG Group in the £35bn tie-upby Royal Dutch Shell. It also took a lead role advising the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in its third attempt at a tie-up with Deutsche Börse, which would create a combined value of about £21bn.