Ashurst’s management took home £8m in 2016/17, 18% less than the previous year, according to the firm’s recently published LLP accounts.
The City firm’s turnover saw an 12% boost to £541m from £505m the previous year, showing a recovery after two consecutive years of decline following its merger with Australian firm Blake Dawson in 2013.
The 2015/16 figure was a 10% decrease on 2014/15, coming on top of a 4% dip the previous year to £561m from £568m.
This year’s LLP accounts show PEP rose 12% to £672,000 in 2016/17 after a 19% drop in 2015/16, when numbers plummeted from £747,000 to £603,000.
Ashurst’s operating profit saw a slight uptick to £155m to £152m, while staff costs rose nearly 10% to £237m from £216m, despite a reduction in staff numbers to 2,609 to 2,722.
The firm’s highest-paid partner took home £1m, on a par with the previous year’s earnings. 2017 saw a rash of partner departures for Ashurst, topped off by a wave of three exits last November in London alone.
That month, corporate partners James Wood and Dominic Ross left for the London offices of Sidley Austin and White & Case respectively, while disputes stalwart Ben Giaretta went to Mishcon de Reya’s commercial arbitration practice.
In June, Ashurst lost a five-lawyer team from its Paris arm to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, led by litigation and restructuring partner Jean-Pierre Farges. The move came only four months after the departure of a five-partner team from the firm’s Paris office to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
The firm didn’t fare much better across the pond, when in July a five-strong team of New York-based partners left for US finance firm Chapman and Cutler, completing the full departure of the ten-partner team the firm hired from McKee Nelson in 2009 to launch a structured finance practice.