Linklaters slips to the bottom of the magic circle pack as partner profits shrink

UK Landmarks - London
Magic circle firm Linklaters posts declining partner profits despite revenue bump (Source: Getty)

Linklaters has fallen to the bottom of the pile in terms of magic circle partner profits after profit per equity partner (PEP) declined nearly two per cent this year.

The firm announced today that PEP had declined 1.9 per cent to £1.538m – putting it behind Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy which recorded PEP figures above £1.6m and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer which bumped PEP above £1.7m this year.

Read more: Freshfields returns to form with growth taking partner profits above £1.7m

Linklaters revenue grew 5.8 per cent to £1.523bn, up from £1.44bn last year and pre-tax profit stood at £676.2m, up 1.7 per cent from £664.4m last year.

The firm said PEP fell despite an increase in pre-tax profit because of changes in the way it counts its partners around the world.

Managing partner Gideon Moore said: “The firm has performed strongly again this year, achieving a 4.8 per cent increase in income at constant currency.”

Read more: Clifford Chance partners to pocket an average of £1.6m after record results

Key deals for the year include advising Japan’s Takeda on its £43bn bid for FTSE 100-listed Shire Pharmaceuticals and acting for Sainsbury on its £3bn merger with Asda.

On the litigation front it acted for Visa on a series of High Court actions brought by retailers seeking damages for alleged breaches in competition law involving card fees.

Linklaters is the last of the magic circle firms to announce its results this year.

Read more: Deal boom drives strong results at magic circle law firm Allen & Overy

Its revenue of £1.523bn makes it the third-largest of the four magic circle firms, while its PEP figure places it in last place having led the group on that metric last year.

Slaughter and May – also considered a member of the magic circle – does not provide any financial results but last year website Legal Week estimated its revenue at £509.8m and its PEP at £2.35m.

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