Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer today reported an 8% fall in profit per equity partner to £1.369m, though the figure’s value for the purposes of comparison is open to question.

The magic circle firm blamed the decline on currency movements and ‘accounting changes relating to the recategorisation of some partners as equity partners’.

The Gazette asked Freshfields to clarify whether these changes resulted from changes to LLP tax rules last year which targeted ‘disguised employment’ and caused firms to review their partnership reward structures. It has yet to respond.

Unveiling its topline figures, Freshfields disclosed that income climbed 1% to £1.245bn in 2014/15, a rise of 4% on a constant currency basis.

Net profit was £574m, a decrease of 1% based on the £578m reported in 2013/14.

David Aitman, global managing partner, said: ‘We’ve developed very strong transactional, regulatory and contentious practices over the years, which have helped deliver a very solid financial performance against strong currency headwinds.

‘We believe we are well-placed in the year ahead to build on our position as the leading integrated international law firm providing high-value advice to clients.’

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