Ashurst keeps profit per equity partner above £900k and holds NQ pay steady despite COVID-19 disruption

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By Thomas Connelly on

Silver circle firm’s PEP is down 7% and NQ pay frozen as it confronts the pandemic

Ashurst has released its latest set of financial results, with partners continuing to earn in excess of £900,000 in spite of the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic and NQs still on £84,000.

According to figures for the year ending 30 April 2020, average profit per equity partner (PEP) at the silver circle firm fell by 7% to £903,000. The drop contrasts with the whopping PEP boost of 31% enjoyed by partners this time last year, who saw their earnings swell from £743,000 to £972,000.

The fresh financials reveal the firm’s revenue has also slightly increased by 0.5% to £644 million.

“FY20 was a year of consolidation,” commented Paul Jenkins, Ashurst’s global managing partner. “Our aim in FY20 was to sustain and build on the strong 14% revenue growth we saw in the previous financial year and it was pleasing to see that growth continue.”

He continued:

“We were on target to achieve a higher level of growth until late January when markets in Asia Pacific, in which we now generate almost 50% of our revenue, were the first to be disrupted by the pandemic. Our other markets were impacted towards the end of the financial year. We have delivered a robust performance despite these challenging market conditions.”

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The fresh results come after Ashurst took steps earlier this spring to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19. Like many outfits across the City, the firm asked some staff to work fewer hours for less pay and reduced partners’ monthly drawing by 20%.

Meanwhile, Ashurst confirmed the pay packets of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers will remain unchanged this summer. Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows NQs receive a salary of £84,000, though earnings can swell to as much as £105,000 with bonus applied.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “We always aim to attract and retain the best diverse talent. Our NQ lawyers can receive up to £105k in remuneration. We believe that this is a competitive package and we continue to monitor and review to ensure that this remains the case.”

Retuning to the world of law firm financials, magic circle duo Linklaters and Allen & Overy posted PEP figures last week of £1.61 million (down 0.7%) and £1.63 million (down 1.7%) respectively. Meanwhile, Clifford Chance confirmed yesterday that PEP was up 5% to £1.69 million.

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