Legal Business Blogs

LLP Latest – Freshfields sees drop in equity partners and highest paid earner as Clydes grows across the board

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has become the second Magic Circle firm to release its 2012/13 limited liability partnership (LLP) filings with Companies House, revealing a drop of 5% in average equity partner numbers and a reduction in the pay packet of its highest paid member.

The LLP, which saw its 2012/13 profits fall to £312.3m from £329.1m in the previous year, while overall revenues increased by 4% to £1.23bn, saw the average number of members fall from 350 to 332.

Freshfields’ latest accounts show that its highest paid equity member took home £2.5m including retirement payments, down from £2.9m the previous year.

The firm’s loans and other debts due to members grew to £532.1m from £454m, while its total assets, including unbilled revenue, amounts due from members, property and cash, grew to £895.5m from £876.6m in 2011/2012.

However, the number of overall staff at the firm increased by 81 to 4,561, consisting of a rise in fee-earners from 2,459 to 2,514 and support staff from 2,017 to 2,047 the year before. The firm paid more in overall salaries during 2012/13, up to £449.3m from £413.8m.

The results comes as Legal Business top-15 UK firm Clyde & Co also filed its LLP accounts for the same period, reporting a 22.7% hike in profits from £66.5m to £81.6m. Its revenues were also up 17% to £334.6m from £285.8m in 2012.

The firm’s average number of equity members increased by 39 to 218 in 2013, while its highest paid member’s remuneration remained static at £1.3m. Staff costs at the firm however, rose 24.7% to £144.4m from £115.8, largely due to the cost of total salaries rising 26.4%, while overall staff numbers increased by 314.