Average partner earnings at Clifford Chance hit £1.69 million

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Revenues up too despite pandemic

Clifford Chance’s London office

Clifford Chance has become the third magic circle player to post its 2020 financial results, revealing modest uplifts to both revenue and profit per equity partner (PEP).

The Canary Wharf-based giant boosted PEP by 5% to £1.69 million and increased revenue by 6% to £1.8 billion, according to its financial results for the year ending 30 April 2020. Profits sit at £666 million, again a 5% increase year on year.

Today’s results mark the strongest on record for the firm “despite the last quarter of the year being marked by the impact of the spread of the coronavirus across the globe”.

Similar to its magic circle rivals, CC revealed back in April that it had taken a number of steps to mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, including deferring partner distributions and freezing salary reviews.

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“In 2015 we put our vision to be the global law firm of choice at the core of all we do,” commented Matthew Layton, Clifford Chance’s global managing partner. “Since then, we have made excellent progress against our goals by taking a long-term view and making strategic investments in our business while remaining agile and adaptable.”

Layton added:

“I am very pleased that, over the five year period of our strategy, we have seen strong profitable growth across all our regions.”

The newly released financials follow the publication of Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters‘ results last week. A&O saw PEP shrink by 1.7% to £1.63 million but revenue grow by 4% to £1.69 billion. Meanwhile, Links’ revenue increased slightly (0.7%) to £1.64 billion and PEP dropped by 5.1% to a still very impressive £1.61 million.

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Looks like it’s gonna surpass DLA with the revenue over the next couple of years


Jez Corbyn

Brothers! Sisters!

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This is great for the equity partners but doesn’t mean much else


MA Cantab

Listen you young ruffian. Partners are the lifeblood of any firm. One should judge a firm by its partners, and by extension, its PEP. Trainees and associates are ten a penny and completely replaceable. You could replace the trainees at magic circle firms with robots and the quality of service the firm provides or the amount of incoming work would not be affected one iota. Understood?



What an idiot



Imagine paying more than 700k in tax each year. I don’t think I’d be able to deal with it.



It is awful when the unwashed want us to pay more and more when they pay next to nothing. Buy one decent country pad and the stamp duty is more than Northerners pay in tax in their lifetime.


Bombay Bad Boy

No problem. Don’t earn £1.6m.



In the end I think most equity partners make around 500k after tax and expenses



I mean I know the white powdery expense can really mount up, but £400k is some Scarface shit.



Power is cheap. Even if you’re doing one a day that is only about 20k/year. Barely scratches the surface.



And I am supposed to cry?


Bob the builder

If you paid that tax you’d be making an excellent contribution to the welfare of society and would really help the NHS



Chump change.


Showround @ Bakers

Our trainees earn more than your partners. Know your place.



Your trainees don’t even make as much as any trainee in the magic circle …



Imagine doing a year long virtual work experience scheme though



Decent money… no “perks” though


Quinn Associate

How does this compare to the projected income of a US firm associate though?


Links TC

Genuine question:

How much do partners at the bottom of the equity lockstep/junior salaried partners typically earn at a MC firm/top US office in London.

PEP clearly just distorts figures due to rainmaker compensation and doesn’t seem to say much about what the average partner actually earns.



MC: £250k-3.5m
US: £350k-9m



You’ve just made that up.



It will broadly be right based on cravath scale/ sterling equivalent firms.



MC is defo around the 500-750k mark at Junior lockstep partners. Some have to got through a period of a few month of not getting paid until the next quarter or something…



Depends entirely on the firm and their structure, a few examples:

Clifford Chance has a salaried partnership, with junior salaried partners on £350 – 500k.

Freshfields and Slaughters by comparison only have equity partners, with junior partners at Freshfields on £600 – 700k.

Kirkland has its famous salaried partnership at 6PQE where you start on £300k but this can go up to £500k, once you hit equity it jumps to £1.3m.

Skadden is all equity, junior equity partners start on £1.5m.

NRF has a salaried rank with partners starting on around £225/250k, the equity rank starts at £450k.

Just some quick examples but these figures will change year to year and is really not something to be worrying about or focussed on until you are at least a couple years in to being an Associate….


links tc

any idea about linklaters figures?



Basically identical to Freshfields’.



Errr so why is the firm cutting NQ salaries then. If the firm is doing better than it did last year.

They don’t care about their junior lawyers


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