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Profits at Clifford Chance have tumbled by 13.4 per cent, nose-diving to £558,000.
The firm reported the precipitous decline in income, compared to the average profits per partner (PPP) £644,000 in the previous year, as it revealed that billings for the year ended 30 April 2004 had fallen just marginally by 2.9 per cent.
Stuart Popham, senior partner at Clifford Chance, put the decline in profits down to a number of large costs incurred during the financial year.
These include the move to Canary Wharf, where, said Popham, the firm had to pay out for things like “packers”, the relocation of its New York office and the installation of an IT system.
Popham said: “The year was a year of two halves.” He added that the second half of the year saw an upturn in activity, which intensified in the fourth quarter of 2003-04.
While Clifford Chance is leading the magic circle in terms of overall revenue, it is again trailing its rivals in terms of PPP. Competing magic circle firms and many rivals within the City top 10, expect PPP to remain above the £600,000 mark.