UK top 200 ranking: 48
Financially the key indicators continued to be positive at Charles Russell in 2011–12. Turnover rose by 5.5 per cent, from £64.5m to £68.1m, while average profit per equity partner (PEP) was up by 5 per cent to £280,000.
As well as a nine person redundancy consultation in June 2012, the firm also introduced a bonus for equity partners for the first time in a bid to shake up partner performance. Charles Russell’s traditional seven-rung lockstep for full equity partners, which starts at 60 points and rises to 120 points with no gateways, remains in place.
Charles Russell says it is in favour of allowing external investment in firms, an option that while potentially expensive, is viewed by its management as good generally for the industry. Ahead of any such deal, in 2011–12 Charles Russell overhauled its partnership structure, converting its salaried partners to fixed-share equity. Each fixed-share partner was asked to inject around £10,000 into the business at the time.
Among the firm’s key practice areas that helped generate the forward momentum in turnover in 2011–12 was litigation, which put in a strong performance, while corporate suffered a slight dip partly due to the sale of the Cambridge office and the departure of the three local partners to Penningtons. The sale was part of Charles Russell’s ‘Focused Growth on Strong Foundations’ policy that also saw the closure of the Oxford office.
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Overview5 Fleet Place
Turnover (£m): 68.1
Total lawyers: 260