Simmons & Simmons’ turnover dropped by 3 per cent, from £251m to £243m, in 2010-11.
Turnover (£m): 243
Average PEP: 460
Equity spread (£k): 240-835
Profit margin (%): 23
RPL (£k): 363
Vision – Execution – Governance –
This slight fall can be seen as almost a victory after 2009-10’s revenue 13 per cent drop.
Simmons continues to excel in financial services and litigation, but the market expects more from a firm with its brand and calibre of lawyers. In 2010-11 it elected a new managing partner and a new senior partner. In December 2010 Jeremy Hoyland succeeded managing partner Mark Dawkins, who stepped down after two terms. Hoyland’s election was predictable, but Colin Passmore’s victory over Dawkins in the April senior partner election was not. Two months later Dawkins defected to Bingham McCutchen.
Whether having two first-termers in office will make change more or less likely remains unclear. In January – following failed merger talks with Mayer Brown – the firm appeared to be putting a US tie-up on the back-burner in favour of focusing on increased engagement in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. To this end Hoyland shrunk the number of practice groups at Simmons from 10 to four.
An international committee comprising Hoyland, the four international practice group heads and any other partner Hoyland deems helpful (at present just the Paris head) sets strategy. A non-executive board, which managers cannot join, exists to scrutinise board decisions. In April Hoyland added a fixed-share tier, with extra voting rights but no capital requirements, to the partnership. For equity partners there remains a 13-rung lockstep with a profit pool split 80-20 between the lockstep and additional allocations of one, three, six or 10 points. The first seven rungs of the lockstep are determined largely by seniority, but with a small number of performance-related gateways. As partners near the top, performance plays a bigger part. A committee comprising the managing partner and four elected partners decides remuneration.