City firm financials: Macfarlanes, Ashurst and Herbert Smith Freehills release 2018/19 results

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A trio of top City outfits have released their 2018/19 financial results.

Single-office-outfit Macfarlanes confirmed turnover was up 8% to £217 million and operating profit hit £111 million, a rise of 4% over the previous 12 months. Despite the boosts, the firm’s profit per equity partner (PEP) remained level at still a very hefty £1.7 million.

Commenting on the latest figures, Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin said: “Thank you to our fantastic people for another good year. This year has started well too and we are busy going into the summer. This could be a tricky year but we have positioned the practice to take advantage of the opportunities that more challenging times present.”

Meanwhile, international player Ashurst revealed a 14% uplift in turnover from £564 million to £641 million, while PEP soared to £972,000 — a whopping boost of 31% on last year’s result of £743,000.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

“In the last financial year, the firm has delivered a strong level of performance, with growth across all regions and divisions”, Paul Jenkins, global managing partner of Ashurst, said. “We have continued to place significant emphasis on achieving sustained revenue and profit growth which is evident from our pleasing results.”

Elsewhere, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) posted revenues of £966 million, up more than 4% on the previous financial year, while profit enjoyed an 11% uplift from £277 million to £307 million. PEP stood at £949,000, up 11% from £852,000.

Mark Rigotti, chief executive officer, said: “This has been a very good year. Our financial and market performance is the strongest it has ever been. We have acted as trusted advisers to our clients on their most pressing strategic challenges. Our success reflects their success.”

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Latham NQ




If you actually are a Latham NQ, do you mind letting us know what your wedge is before and after bonus?



115 before, 130 after.



Wrong, £140k before, £155k after.


Magic Circle Partner

I’m on the phone with my Porsche dealer right now.


Kirkland NQ

That’s cute – your first ‘sports’ car? I’ve been flicking through a Lambo brochure all afternoon while smashing a PE deal.



The freshers in this site always trash talk Ashurst – who’s laughing now????



Still laughing, coz Asshurts is still shet


Future Ashurst trainee

Anyone know if Ashurst is going to match to 90k??? With these results, surely its only fair that the associates are rewarded too?



Hahahhahahaha no.



Back to billing gimp



Decent NP to be fair.



Those people who brainlessly trash Ashurst has no idea what they are talking about. Even back in the noughties it was never the most profitable firm – that’s why it is not part of the MC. Instead it was known for its much friendlier culture, small firm feeling and top quality work.

A lot of the above still holds true these days. Unlikely they will ever be able to compete purely on pay, but at the same time assocoates don’t get beasted as hard as MC/US, and the work is still top quality. It is a trade off a lot of people are willing to take and really just top quality.

I trained at Ashurst couple years ago and left for a US firm subsequently for the money, but I still look back and think fondly at my time with the firm. Many friends still remain and most have positive things to say. Real momentum going on right now.



I know people who made the opposite journey (from a US firm to Ashurst) and honestly they’ve never been happier even if they’ve taken a pay cut.



Which US firms, out of interest?



Can’t be too specific as it would out me but its a white shoe firms with a small presence in London.



Jul 10 2019 11:39pm isn’t me but the details are all identical to my friend.


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