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Equity partner profits at Freshfields hit £1.8 million

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A rise of 6%

Freshfields has become the second magic circle firm to release its 2018/19 financial results, reporting slight increases to both its partner profits and global revenue.

The Anglo-German giant reported a 1% bump in net profit to £688 million, while profit per equity partner (PEP) grew by a modest 6% to £1.84 million. The firm, which recently increased the base rates of its newly qualified lawyers to £100,000, recorded a 5% boost in revenue to £1.47 billion.

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Last year, Freshfields reported a 12% hike in PEP (£1.73 million) and net income (£683 million).

Managing partner Stephan Eilers said:

“After a strong fourth quarter, the new financial year has started well and we remain confident in our prospects and our strategy.”

The results come just 24 hours after fellow magic circle player Clifford Chance revealed a 1% PEP increase to £1.62 million and global revenues of £1.7 billion — a 4.3% rise year on year.

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41 Comments

Freshfields HR

We should have clarified – our PEPis actually £1.4m with a £400k discretionary bonus.

Anonymous

Top bantz

Anonymous

In fairness, Freshfields straight up pays 100k base – unlike almost every other firm that “followed”

Anonymous

Tremendous news.

It’s this day each year which makes the long, late hours of sweaty hell worthwhile. I’m sure everyone here at Freshies will join me in congratulating the partners on this fantastic achievement. It really is wonderful.

Anonymous

Try using ‘that’ instead of ‘which’. Thank you.

Anonymous

Clearly the very definition of a ‘party person’ here

LLB Student

Why do I get the sense on LC that Freshfields is one of the worst magic circle firms to work for?

I don’t see as much criticism about Linklaters, A&O or Clifford Chance. On the other hand, I hardly hear anything about Slaughter & May.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Anonymous

Freshfields is da GOAT UK firm. Least stuffy culture and best reputation for corporate matters.

Anonymous

S&M better than FBD for M&A.

Freshfields proper sweat shop.

Complete and utter pain to work across from to, as they take every single stupid point and are generally problem finders not problem solvers.

Anonymous

Sounds like you dealt with a proper litigator acting for a deliciously petty (and paying) client – or are you referring to their deal team? That would be a different story…

Although S&M acquisitions lawyers are notoriously difficult on deals as well.

Anonymous

Coz it be shet. Travers and BCLP mop the floor with em.

Anonymous

Sweaty, trying to be like a US firm.

Anonymous

My sense is that they’re trying to increase profits to compete with US firms for global elite transactions work. Ultimately they’d like to do a merger with a firm like Latham and Watkins to have the corporate and finance capabilities of top tier firms whilst also having global scale. If they could pull that off they’d be the only firm of that kind, so the clients they seek on the Global 500 would have no choice but to work with them when growing through mergers and acquisitions. Having trained with them I hope they pull this off so that the bullet point on my CV has even more career capital. That’s to compensate for the utterly despicable culture they’re willing to inflict on their employees. If one leaves they could easily replace it with another. They’re the anti fragile dinosaur of global elite corporate transactions.

Anonymous

More so than any other MC firm, FBD are desperate to maintain parity with American firms with regards to corporate transactions and big-ticket litigation. The problem is that they can’t compete with them financially and haemorrhage partners to US shops; their perceived solution is to absolutely hammer associates to reduce costs and thus afford to retain mostly average partners. The problem with this is that the partners end up leaving anyway.

Anonymous

£1.6m comp – and yet people say that associates’ high salaries are not sustainable / unwarranted. It is laughable considering it is the associates who actually do most / all of the substantial work.

Anonymous

Greed greed and more fucking greed. Wankers

Suck it up

Bitter, much? Are you off your meds?

Kirkland NQ

Hah, yeah, absurd isn’t it. While to some people £1.6m would probably be regarded as ‘not sustainable’ or ‘unwarranted’ for an associate salary, I beg to differ.

Anonymous

If money is all you want in joining the legal profession don’t bother with MC/Yankee firms. In the mid 1990’s the first firm to generate £1m take home was a one man band in Liverpool doing PI litigation. Took MC/yankee firms another 10 yrs to even come close.

Kirkland NQ

Wait, there are lawyers outside London? Well I never.

Anti-ambulance chasers

Corrupt scousers (the claimants, not the lawyers*) are not the gravy train they used to be. The personal injury racket is being brought to heel, slowly but surely. These ambulance chasers are the reason that lawyers are despised. The sooner the PI industry is quashed, the better.

* well, not all Scouse PI lawyers are corrupt…

Freshies Equity Partner

Don’t worry, Ladz, Trebles on me tonight

Anonymous

What do partners actually do with their money?

Anonymous

three ex-wives….

Anonymous

Houses in Dulwich.

JDP

Pay off the trainees they were, erm, careless with.

Anonymous

Paying for another off-the-books procedure are we?

I suppose that’s cheaper than paying an off-the-books mat leave in the current London wage war.

Big Diggs Higgs

Good job I left, making almost 10x that now

A. Mags

I know right

Anonymous

Every other article on here is about how much money people are making at City law firms.

I get that a load of people who read this blog are either in those jobs or (most likely) trying to get them, and they want to earn as much money as possible, so there is a demand for it.

But can you not rise above this instead of feeding it? Can you not show these people how to behave? It is deeply inimical to the very basics of good grace and manners to be so obsessed by money above all else. This is not America. It is not acceptable and it should not be condoned, let alone exalted so unapologetically.

It is little wonder lawyers have such a bad name amongst civilised people.

Anonymous

Tede

Anonymous

Silence dweeb.

Realist

I feel your pain (to a point). Money is the most transparent metric, though. It’s the best way to objectively assess success, and firms’ trajectory. It’s far more than just the superficial ‘how much are people taking home’.

Having now worked for over 20 years in public and private sector organisations in periods of both growth and decline, I reluctantly conceded that while financial metrics aren’t *everything*, they are invaluable.

Anonymous

this is where all the good banter comes from. LC has nothing else to offer than banter in the comments

Anonymous

When you have/had the joy of owing £45-50k in student debt and no real prospect of an inheritance or winning lottery ticket, and have no desire to go back to the boring who-gives-a-sh** ASBO-ridden hometown you grew up in, money matters.

Good grace and manners didn’t get me out of the red and on the London property ladder.

Anonymous

Most of them aren’t really lawyers. They just cobble together deals, using boiler plate documents.

Anonymous

Utter madlads. Hope they smash all their trainees as they deserve to be after years of getting bummed.

Anonymous

Love these threads

Brian Griffin

If you’re setting up your own firm, I have some advice on how you can hit £1.8m profit per equity partner:

Wish it, Want it, Do it.

Common Sense Boi

That’s a really stupid phrase

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