Legal Business Blogs

Macfarlanes credits ‘active approach’ by clients as PEP nears £2.5m

Marking its twelfth consecutive year of revenue growth, Macfarlanes today (26 July) unveiled bullish double-digit gains across the board, with turnover increasing 16% to £303.7m.

Profit per equity partner (PEP) rose 19% to £2.484m to exceed that of both Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy, which have recorded PEP of £2.04m and £1.95m respectively.

While the remaining Magic Circle firms are yet to report, Macfarlanes was second only to Slaughter and May in terms of PEP in last year’s LB100 report, with the elite firm reporting a figure of £3.2m for 2020/21. Operating profit also saw a comparable increase by 15% to £164.2m.

The results even outpaced last year’s showing, which saw turnover increase 10% to £260.96m, a 9% PEP increase to £2.09m and a 12% uptick in operating profit. The firm credited a boost in client activity post-pandemic for its enhanced performance.

Senior partner Sebastian Prichard Jones (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘Our results in 2021/22 reflect an active approach by our clients as the world emerged from the pandemic. We were fortunate to operate in areas which saw sustained high levels of client demand across the market, in both our transactional and non-transactional practices. Our alternative asset manager clients in particular were very active. Our thanks go to our clients for continuing to entrust us with their mandates and our people who rose to the challenge of increasing levels of demand.’

The firm also announced a 92% retention rate among its trainees qualifying this September with 23 out of 25 staying. Newly qualified lawyers will receive a base salary of £107,500 plus individual and firmwide bonuses. This year its firmwide bonus, which is uncapped and awarded to all staff, will be paid at 11.23%.

Despite starting this financial year on a high with the addition of corporate tax partner Sophie Donnithorne-Tait, who is due to join this summer from Akin Gump, Prichard Jones matched the market’s wary forecast for the year ahead. He concluded: ‘The outlook for this year is much more uncertain and it is clear that since the start of the war in Ukraine many clients are adopting a cautious approach.’