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LLP latest: Taylor Wessing tightens its belt as Pinsent Masons gets expansive

The latest round of LLP accounts show profit, management pay and remuneration for the highest earning member all fell at Taylor Wessing, while Pinsent Masons delivered strong growth across the board, pushing its top earner past the £1m mark.

Taylor Wessing’s accounts for the year to 30 April 2017 show that despite a small 2% increase in turnover to £129.3m, profit available for division among LLP members fell to $46.9m from $49.9m. Similarly, the sum awarded to the highest-paid member dropped 11% to £1,039,000 in the same period while pay for key management personnel fell to $5.8m from $6.1m.

Costs rose 6% to £81.6m over the period, offsetting the increase to turnover, and included an increase in staff costs to £45.9m from $44.3m. The number of members rose to 102 from 100, while fee earners increased by four to 292. The firm’s cash pile also fell 36% to £12.3m.

Meanwhile, Pinsent Mason’s first international LLP accounts since its overarching entity was created on 1 June 2016 show the highest-paid member took home 34% more last year, as turnover and profit both improved. Management also got a pay bump following what senior partner Richard Foley described a year of ‘sustained profitability, coupled with strategic investment into our business’.

Turnover at the firm rose 11% to £423.1m, helping profit rise to £134.9m from £117.5m despite an 9% increase in costs. Of the $287.2m in costs over the period, £182.9m related to staff, up 10%, and included a £14.6m increase to salaries over the year. The firm’s cash position also strengthened by nearly 42%, to £64.8m.

The accounts show the highest remuneration of a member was £1,086,951, up from £810,490, while pay for key management personnel rose 16% to £5.95m. The number of fee earners at the firm rose slightly to 1,368 from 1,357, while the total number of members – including equity and non-equity – rose to 357 from 349.

In a report accompanying the accounts, Pinsent Masons said Brexit has ‘increased uncertainty’ for the LLP, but that potential opportunities and risks are being considered and evaluated, which members believe the firm is well equipped to deal with.

Foley said highlights for the year included new offices in Düsseldorf and Johannesburg, as well as taking a minority stake in legal resourcing business Yuzu. ‘Since then we have continued to take steps to grow our business in-line with our vision to be recognised as international market leader in the global sectors in which we operate, as evidenced through further office openings in Madrid, Dublin and Perth.’