Top City partners, including one who drew more than £3m last year, are toasting a strong set of financial results for 2016/17.
Magic circle firms Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance and Linklaters reported increases for their top earners in accounts filed last month.
Every A&O partner enjoyed a £109k boost to their £1.4m average underlying earnings thanks to a ‘one-off foreign exchange gain’. The firm’s highest earner collected £3.5m. That figure includes an unspecified retirement payment.
A&O declined to reveal the top earner’s identity. David Morley, senior partner for eight years, retired at the end of 2015/16 to be replaced by former managing partner Wim Dejonghe.
According to its trading figures, A&O reported a 27% rise in profits, to £716m, on turnover up 16% to £1.5bn.
At Linklaters, profit available to share between 312 partners was up 10% to £456m, equating to around £1.4m each. The firm’s executive committee, which includes its 12 most senior lawyers, as well as senior partner Charlie Jacobs, will share £20.8m.
Overall profit before tax was £476m, up from £438m the previous year, while revenue was £1.4bn, up from £1.3bn.
Clifford Chance’s elite group of 13 partners claimed a share of £16m (around £1.3m each). Pre-tax profits at the Canary Wharf-based outfit stood at £532m, an 8% increase on the previous year, while revenue was up 11%, from £1.3bn to £1.5bn. However, the firm noted that these figures partly reflected the fall in the pound: excluding the effect of exchange rates, revenue grew by only 2%.
Outside the magic circle it was a strong year for international firm Fieldfisher. Its operating profit shot up by 35% to £69m (from £51.3m). Profits will be split between the firm’s 168 members. The firm’s highest-paid partner drew £2.03m, up from £1.19m in 2015/16.
Revenue increased by 17%, from £124m to £146m. Fieldfisher, which operates under a Swiss verein model, has expanded in recent years and added offices in Amsterdam and Bologna last year.