No strategy changes, no office openings, no partnership restructurings… 2010-11 was a year like any other for Slaughter and May.
Turnover (£m): 448
Average PEP: 1,930
Equity spread (£k):1,005-2,100
Profit margin (%): 52
RPL (£k): 799
Vision – Execution – Governance –
Although its deals performance dipped slightly – it dropped from first to fourth in the Thomson Reuters 2010 calendar year rankings – it was a year of growth elsewhere for the firm. It had the largest promotions round of new partners since 2007-08, with five (but no women) elevated to the London equity, compared with two promotions the previous year.
That said, there was certainly space for the lucky five given that the firm – highly unusually –lost two serving partners. M&A partner Lucy Wylde joined HM Treasury’s Asset Protection Agency as general counsel following two years there on secondment, while corporate partner Jeff Triggs was appointed interim general counsel at the Royal Mail Group.
Otherwise, it was business as usual. Three of the promotions were in corporate and two in finance, underlining Slaughters’ traditional strengths in these areas. The firm’s confidence for the medium term was also evinced by its decision to keep trainee and NQ salaries steady and to raise pay for associates from one to four years’ PQE by 2 per cent. In a similar bullish vein, Slaughters was the only firm in the top 20 to post a 100 per cent retention rate for newly qualified lawyers.
What senior partner Christopher Saul terms an “emotional recoil from the word managing” explains the firm’s slightly more consultative approach to firm organisation. Management is essentially confined to three – Saul, practice partner Paul Olney and executive partner Graham White.
The firm operates 11 streams, four of which are corporate groups. Each stream reports to the 11-member elected partnership board on an annual basis.
Last year saw some musical chairs in the firm’s management, with five new members on the board. Meanwhile, Paul Stacey took over as head of financing from Andrew Balfour and Sara Luder replaced Tony Beare as head of tax.