International firm Pinsent Masons’ top earner received the firm’s biggest ever pay package last financial year, according to accounts filed with Companies House, which say the effect of coronavirus on legal activity was ‘not as significant or prolonged as feared’.

The LLP’s best paid partner – who is anonymised in the report – received £1.421m for the year ended 30 April 2020, up from £1.099m the year before.

In contrast, the total salaries and wages of fee earners and support staff fell by 11% to £25,764,000. The total number of employees fell by just 2% to 203. 

The accounts do not reflect the full impact of the UK lockdown which began in March. ‘Whilst the firm saw some impact on trading in the final two months of the financial year due to Covid-19, this was relatively minor in the context of the full year trading performance,’ the firm said.


Pinsent Masons partner received over £1.4m for year ended 30 April 2020

However, Pinsent Masons said time records during lockdown ‘show a single day of mild disruption before time recording moved back to similar levels to those seen prior to the office closing’.

It added that in a ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ the group would remained profitable and with sufficient headroom in its cash resources for the 12 months from the date of the approval of the accounts.

Pinsent Masons today announced that 30 facilities jobs could be cut as solicitors embrace home-working.

Managing partner John Cleland said Covid-19 has ‘permanently changed’ the way the firm and its clients work. ‘All of the internal and externally available data confirms that colleagues who've worked productively and effectively from home will wish to continue to do so, to a material extent, once the pandemic ends,’ he said.