Legal Business Blogs

Some challenges: Travers ups NQ pay range following 11% revenue growth and subdued PEP

Travers Smith has marked a tenth consecutive year of revenue growth with an 11% increase in turnover, although profit per equity partner (PEP) grew at a more subdued 4%.

Revenue at the firm grew to £162.5m for the 2018/19 financial year – good for growth of more than 70% over the last five years – while PEP hit £1.25m. The firm subsequently joined the raft of firms increasing pay for newly-qualified solicitors (NQs), lifting their base rate salary to £85,000. NQs have the potential to receive between £93,500 and £110,500 with bonuses and other discretionary payments.

Managing partner David Patient (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘Every year we’ve managed to beat our budgets and surpass our expectations. This financial year will present some challenges. There is a lot of political and economic uncertainty which could come into play in terms of what our clients will want to do over the next 12 months.’

He said activity levels were high across the firm with standout areas being dispute resolutions, investment funds, infrastructure M&A, and the pension sector. Highlight mandates include representing Hewlett Packard in its $5bn fraud claim involving Autonomy, Premier Rugby in its major investment from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, and Nortel Networks UK Pensions Trust on a £2.4bn buy-out for the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan with Legal & General.

In addition, the firm worked with The Carlyle Group and shareholders on the sale of Graze to Unilever and with Horizon Capital and shareholders on the sale of EAT group to Pret A Manger.

Travers made up four new partners this year and has promoted 16 new partners over the past three years. Earlier this month, the firm appointed Paul Dolman co-head of the corporate department in addition to his role as head of private equity and financial sponsors.

Meanwhile, the firm has increased the base salary for NQs by 8% to £85,000. It follows Macfarlanes and the Magic Circle announcing similar lucrative pay increases.

Patient commented: ‘It’s a very competitive market, we want to be able to attract and retain the best possible people. We want to ensure therefore that, in terms of being able to offer a fair compensation to our lawyers, it is comparable with what other people in the market are paying.’

For more on Travers’ improbable rise, read: Defying gravity (£)