Freshfields and Linklaters dampen magic circle celebrations
Magic circle rivals Linklaters and Freshfields have recorded modest financial results to end a week of announcements by the UK’s biggest firms.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer became the first magic circle firm to post a decrease in profits. Turnover fell fractionally in 2011/12 to £1.139bn, whilst profit per equity partner dropped by 1% to £1.299m from £1.308m last year. However, the firm argued this represented a 4% increase when exchange rate differences were taken into account.
‘We had a very good year, especially when you consider the impact of the sovereign debt crises on transactional activity,’ said managing partner Ted Burke. ‘Our overall practice is a very balanced one and we continue to have strong activity levels.’
At Linklaters, the firm said it overcame ‘volatile and challenging conditions’ to record modest profit increases.
The international firm increased revenues by just 0.6% to £1.2bn in 2011/12 and recorded a profit of £520.8m (up by 1.2%). Linklaters managing partner Simon Davies said: ‘In spite of those conditions, and in supporting our clients, our revenues and profits have remained stable and we have maintained our financial strength and ability to invest.’
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