Charles Russell’s wage bill slashed after all-equity move

Charles Russell’s partner wage bill dropped from £3.3m to £245,844 in 2011/12 as a result of the firm overhauling its partnership structure in 2011.

In 2011, Charles Russell invited all its salaried partners to become fixed-share equity partners, and to put £10,000 into the business. As a result, members remuneration charged as an expense was £245,844 in 2011/12, down from £3.28m the year before, according to the firm’s LLP accounts.

A statement in the firm’s accounts said: “Following a restructuring on 1 May 2011 the majority of members whose remuneration had been expensed through the profit and loss account in the year to 30 April 2011 were made equity partners. From that date, those members receive an allocation of profit and are required to contribute to the business. Payments during the year to them have been treated as amounts due from members on the balance sheet.”

The remaining partners’ wage bill for £245,844 was due to two partners declining the offer to become fixed-share equity members. Charles Russell’s chief operating officer Andy Staite said that the two salaried partners who did not convert were approaching retirement and did not want to make the switch.

Fee income at Charles Russell in 2011/12 was £67.4m, according to the LLP accounts. That figure was up from £64.1m in 2010/11. Of the £67.4m, around £50.7m came from UK operations, while £16.7m was earned abroad. The firm has three offices in England, one in Switzerland and one in Bahrain.

The average number of partners at Charles Russell was up from 90 to 96 in 2011/12. The highest paid partner got £366,185 up from £292.458 in 2010/11.