Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has boosted average equity partner pay to £1.839m, it said today.
The firm said average profit per equity partner (Pep) grew six per cent in the year to 30 April, putting the firm at the top of the Magic Circle partner pay tree.
Revenue grew five per cent to £1.472bn and net profit inched up one per cent to £688m.
Managing partner Stephan Eilers told City A.M. that the firm had benefited from an increasingly turbulent world which he said suited the firm’s capabilities.
“The more the world gets less organised the more you need the lawyers to organise things in the transactions and the investigations and that plays to our strengths,” he said.
Freshfields has been the target of some high-profile partner raids by US firms over the last two years, most notably the double defection of private equity stars Adrian Maguire and David Higgins to Kirkland & Ellis.
Freshfields’ private equity chief Charlie Hayes however, said the firm’s buyout practice is going from strength-to-strength.
“Private equity revenue now makes up 16 per cent of our global business, we think that shows our strategy is working. We have had double-digit growth across the piece, whether that be with Cinven, CVC, Permira, Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, Hellman & Friedman. It’s across the board,” he said.
London private equity head Victoria Sigeti said the growth was “very much testament to our team work and our building of international client teams across this piece, that being the core of our strategy rather than the star lawyer approach.”
Earlier this month the firm fired the first shot in a City pay battle, increasing salaries for its first year lawyers to £100,000.
Hayes said: “It was an appropriate move to make sure we have the most compelling offering for our people.”
Eilers said the firm had finished the year strongly and made a good start to 2019-20.
“We are quite optimistic…the world might change but we think Freshfields is very well positioned to take up that challenge, maybe better than the American firms,” he said.
Allen & Overy and Linklaters are scheduled to announce their results next week.