A year after Travers Smith announced a 53 per cent increase in average profit per equity partner, the firm saw the figure dip by just under 8 per cent, from £705,000 to £650,000, during the 2010-11 financial year. Revenue remained flat at £72m.
Following a successful 2009-10, powered by an upturn in private equity, restructuring and litigation, maintaining the same levels has been tough. As a result Travers
has seen a drop in its profit margin, from 42 to 39 per cent.
Managing partner Andrew Lilley says the firm has not done badly given the market conditions, stressing that litigation had enjoyed a particularly strong year.
The firm received its first corporate instruction from the Bank of England when it was brought in to advise on the liquidation of Southsea Mortgage & Investment Company thanks to corporate partner Anthony Foster, who was previously on secondment at Threadneedle Street.
The firm operates a lockstep remuneration system, with an added profit pool for rewarding high-performing partners. As a means of saving cash Travers is lengthening salaried partners’ path to equity partnership by a year, from three to four years.
The firm is run by Lilley and senior partner Chris Carroll, along with partnership manager David Thomas, all of whom are ex officio board members. A seven-person elected management board consists of partners from a range of practice areas and includes Paris head David Patient. Three or four members are replaced every 18 months and there is a complete turnover of board members every three years.