Macfarlanes has bucked dire predictions for the legal market and posted an impressive double digit rise in overall profit.

Many firms have announced only their revenue and profit per equity partner ("PEP") figures, meaning their overall profit figure will remain under wraps until, in the case of LLPs, they are compelled to file accounts later this year. But Macfarlanes was not so shy. It revealed that profits increased 16% to £49.2 million, turnover rose 11.7% to £114.2 million and equity partners saw their already considerable drawings increase by almost 10%, to a bulging £989k.

The impressive increase in the bottom line isn't due to a merger, a firing spree or a big strategic change. Senior partner Charles Martin told RollOnFriday, “There's no magic in this. It's down to hard work by talented lawyers and working with great clients."
    Macfarlanes' year: an artist's impression

Shipping specialist Holman Fenwick Willan also posted impressive overall profit growth of 17%, to £38 million. But average equity partner drawings only rose £5k, to £530k. And it came at a price: part of the increase in profit looks due to wage bill slashing as 31 lawyers were lost from the London office over the year.

There were cuts at Eversheds, too. 116 lawyers and staff lost their jobs in May. However they can relax in the knowledge that their ex-firm's profits rose 6%, and the average equity partner drawing rose 2% to £643k.

Of the firms which chose to divulge their overall profits, the following reported growth:

Total profit growth does not of course tell the whole story: hiring bucket loads of partners may increase overall profits, but still reduce PEP. But it's still a useful measure of which firms are prospering. And which have not: check out the losers here.
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Anonymous 12 July 13 16:37

Anybody fed up with the Bond Dickinson PR team's rubbish attempts to associate themselves with "big" firms?