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Linklaters ExComm bag £25m amid surge in revenue from US and AsiaPac, LLP accounts reveal

The 12 members of Linklaters’ executive committee and senior partner Charlie Jacobs saw a 17% pay increase to more than £25m last year, the firm’s LLP accounts show.

Published this week (4 November), the accounts also revealed double-digit revenue growth in the firm’s non-European offices in the year to April 2019. Asia Pacific turnover surged 15% to £226m, while its three American offices in Washington DC, New York and Sao Paulo billed £103m, 11% more than the previous year.

The UK and continental Europe were the biggest contributors to the firm’s global turnover, rising 6% to £684m and £594m respectively. Middle East revenue rose 11% to £18m.

Overall the firm added more than £100m to its top line as revenue rose 7% to £1.63bn from £1.51bn, posting the strongest performance in its peer group as profits per equity partner grew 10% to £1.7m.

Off the back of the strong financial performance, Jacobs and the firm’s ExComm, which includes managing partner Gideon Moore, the practice and regional heads, and the heads of business support operations, collectively brought home £25.3m, up from £21.6m in the year to April 2018.

This week’s accounts also report operating profits of £556m for the 2018/19 financial year. The figure is 18% up on the number reported in the accounts last year but almost £200m short of the £751.6m pre-tax profits posted by the firm in July.

A spokesperson for Linklaters told Legal Business that as in previous years there were a number of partners who were treated and paid as equity partners but ‘for local bar rules or tax treatment’ counted as salaried employees in the accounts: ‘They get the same amount as equity partners on the lockstep: that in accounting terms is regarded as a cost.’

According to the accounts, the average number of equity partners at Linklaters in the year to April was 307 compared to the 433 the firm reported in July. Staff costs rose 6% to £786m as lawyer headcount grew 2% to 2,549 and business support staff 1% to 2,218.

The firm’s strong growth in Asia came at the end of the first year of its joint operation agreement with Shanghai outfit Zhao Sheng, which allowed Linklaters to practise Chinese law in the Free Trade Zone.

Speaking to Legal Business in July, managing partner Gideon Moore said he was ‘super delighted’ with the arrangement: ‘It has allowed us to recruit and retain very good people. It is something that clients really appreciate.’