Pinsent Masons’ average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure leaped by 16% for the second year in a row, as the firm emerged as one of the early stand-out performers for the 2021-22 financial year.
The U.K.-headquartered firm’s PEP figure now stands at £739,000, up from £636,000, according to an announcement by the firm on Wednesday.
In what is the firm’s tenth consecutive year of revenue growth, the figure hit £531.1 million — an increase of just under 6%, compared to its stalled revenue growth of under 2% the previous year.
Speaking to Law.com International, managing partner John Cleland said the firm is “satisfied” with the results and is “confident that they signal healthy growth and commitment to our strategy”.
He said that he doesn’t believe COVID had a “material effect” on this set of results, predicting that results generally will see “far less residual impact [from COVID]” than the previous year.
Notable growth for the firm, according to Cleland, was seen in its EMEA and APAC regions, with its total revenue in those jurisdictions now at around 70% and just over 9% respectively. He highlighted that the firm’s growth outside the U.K. is on a “stronger trajectory”.
The past year has been notable for the firm’s international expansion. The firm has built on its newly-opened Amsterdam base with a partner-led life sciences IP team from Taylor Wessing, incorporated a boutique in South Africa to launch a local environmental law and ESG practice and rejigged its APAC leadership—including naming its first official head of the region—as it focuses on continued growth there.
Additionally, the firm statement added that 75% of the firm’s lateral partner hires were based outside of the U.K..
Cleland said the next focus for the firm is “primarily on driving through investment in our existing offices”. In June, the firm launched in Luxembourg, with Cleland adding that “significant investment” will also be seen there.
He also pointed to “exciting plans to grow” its flexi-lawyering business, Vario. According to the financial results, revenue generated by the business grew by 40.5%. Cleland said the firm will “continue to be committed” to the business.
Meanwhile, the topic of newly-qualified lawyer pay continues to dominate the industry, particularly as U.K. elite firms Allen & Overy and Linklaters said they wouldn’t raise NQ pay owing to market conditions.
In April, Pinsent Masons elevated its London NQ pay packet by 22.6%, to £92,000 from £75,000. Cleland said the firm typically only reviews NQ rates once a year and said he doesn’t see the firm changing its “longstanding policy”.
In the firm statement on the financial results, Cleland added: “Delivering good growth underpinned by healthy financial performance has led to an encouraging FY21/22 financial year”.
Notable client wins for the firm in the past financial year include securing a place on the U.K. water supply company Affinity Water’s inaugural legal panel, a place on the U.K. government’s central legal panel worth £430 million and a spot on energy giant BP’s U.K. legal panel.
Early reports from other firms also suggest that profit and revenue will remain strong into 2022. Among the first to post results were Osborne Clarke and Gateley, which both delivered improved double-digit growth.
When asked about their upcoming results in June, partners told Law.com International that they were optimistic but more sober than last year. A global finance chair at an international firm said that while “last year was a knockout for most firms”, it will be a “tough bar to hit” again in 2022.