Clifford Chance management profit share dips 7 per cent

Clifford Chance’s slimmed-down management committee saw an average 7 per cent decrease in share of profits in the last financial year as global turnover dropped by 0.7 per cent to £1.35m, according to recent LLP filings.

The executive group was reduced to 12 members in 2014, down from 16 members the year before, following an election manifesto pledge by managing partner Matthew Layton.

Members’ total profit share was £14m last year compared with £20m in 2013/14, meaning the average share of each member of the group dropped from £1.25m to £1.16m, approximately £90,000.

Revenue and profit also fell that year with the magic circle firm’s profit down 4 per cent from £377m to £363m.

Revenue breakdown by location showed the UK generated £477m while Continental Europe brought in £469m. The Asia Pacific region brought in £205m; the Americas generated £43m; and the Middle East generated £43m in 2014/15. The figures demonstrate a rise in turnover across all regions except Continental Europe, which saw a 6.8 per cent drop from £503m the year before.

Staff costs rose 1.7 per cent from £588m to £598m as headcount grew from 6,072 staff to 6,217. However the number of partners dipped slightly from 573 to 569.

The results were the magic circle firm’s second best year in terms of global revenue, remaining around 7 per cent higher than its turnover in 2012/13 of £1.271bn.

PEP in 2013/14 sat at £1.14m, up 14 per cent on the previous year.

Headline instructions in the last financial year included advising Deutsche Telekom on its £12.5bn sale of EE to BT; advising ChemChina and China National Tire & Rubber on a $7.7bn financing to buy Pirelli; advising Citi on the sale of its consumer banking arms in Spain and Greece; and advising BskyB on a £6.6bn financing to acquire Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland.

When Clifford Chance announced its unaudited results last year Layton said the firm had “achieved a lot” in the last financial year, “establishing three new global business units to drive greater collaboration”, replacing its management committee with a focused executive leadership group and adapting its remuneration structure to introduce ‘superpoints’ for high-performing partners.