Highest paid partner at magic circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer pockets rising pay, although salaries among staff cut compared to year before

Hayley Kirton
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The amount allocated to the highest paid partner has risen from £1.9m to £3.2m (Source: Getty)

A magic circle law firm has been splashing the cash on its highest paid partner, although the total amount spent on salaries for staff has been slashed.

According to accounts filed at Companies House yesterday for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, the total profit and remuneration allocated to its highest paid partner, which included payments made in relation to their retirement from the firm, jumped to £3.2m in the year ended April 2015.

By comparison, the amount carved out for the highest paid partner the year before was £1.9m.

The accounts also showed that, while staff costs had risen from £547.7m to £562.7m, the amount allocated to salaries had dropped from £466.1m to £460.6m.

Meanwhile, the number of staff at the firm had risen from 4,621 to 4,759, including an increase in the number of fee-earning staff from 2,573 to 2,640.

Freshfields has declined to comment on the accounts.

The international firm formally announced its financial results for 2014/15 back in July of last year. The lawyers reported revenue of £1.2bn, up one per cent from the year before, and net income of £574m, a decline of one per cent from the previous year.

At the time, David Aitman, global managing partner at Freshfields, 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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