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Overdue: Ashurst partners to receive quarterly distributions after successive delays

Ashurst partners are set to receive their quarterly profit distributions this month after payments were delayed earlier this year.

A partner at the firm confirmed that quarterly profit distributions are expected this month after Ashurst halted its August payout to partners following disappointing 2015/16 financial results, which saw profit per equity partner drop by 19%.

Former partners have told Legal Business the firm had also failed to pay out its February quarterly partner drawings this year and it is understood a hefty tax bill in January contributed to the firm’s inability to pay.

As yet it is unknown whether the full share of profits will be paid out to partners or whether they will just receive a portion, as Ashurst has historically paid out less than partners are owed each quarter if it has insufficient funds to pay all partners. However, those within the firm and outside confirm that, in comparison to other firms, Ashurst makes significant monthly payments.

The firm posted its second year of falling revenues following its merger with Blake Dawson in 2013 with turnover falling 10% to £505m while PEP took a significant hit, dropping 19% from £603,000 from £747,000. Following the disappointing performance, in July the firm voted through changes to revamp its lockstep in a bid to retain heavyweight partners.

It has been a rocky year for exits with a number of office heads most recently leaving the firm. Brussels managing partner Carl Meyntjens left in September and Abu Dhabi head Alastair Holland left for New York-based Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. Meanwhile, Singapore head Shaun Lascelles is leaving for Vinson & Elkins with fellow corporate partner Keith McGuire joining PwC Legal.

However the firm saw two U-turns with Nigel Ward, who resigned for Paul Hastings, and James Parry, who was set to join Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, choosing to remain at the firm.