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27 July 2009 | By Kit Chellel
23 February 2009
7 February 2013
13 June 2011
18 February 2008
17 July 2012
DLA Piper chief executive Sir Nigel Knowles has taken a paycut of £100,000 following a challenging calendar year for the world’s largest firm by headcount.
As the firm’s sole plateau partner, Knowles has been hit by a fall in the top of equity figure.
DLA Piper’s equity spread is now £325,000-£1.5m, down from £350,000-£1.6m for the last calendar year.
The majority of partners, however, have seen a rise in income, with average profit per equity partner in the UK and international practices up by just under 1 per cent to £645,000.
The firm’s revenue for the calendar year was up by 16.2 per cent to £584m.
Knowles said the figures represented a “solid performance during what has been an extremely challenging year”.
Anonymous | 27-Jul-2009 10:34 am
Poor poor Sir Nige. As a current employee of DLA in London I am incensed. I have always had a fairly high opinion of Sir Nigel up until now, but to find out that he is bringing in £1.5 million AFTER a pay cut, whilst all the time bleating on about how redundancies are unfortunate but necessary really gets my goat.If he was to take no salary for a year, and lets face it he is very likely to be able to afford to do this, 3 NQ's or 6 support staff could have kept their jobs.I am stuck here in a heavily hit department waiting until the market opens up for some more jobs, but I can tell you this, myself and a hell of a lot of other hardworking dedicated people will be leaving DLA in droves as soon as they can. This firm disgusts me with every move they make. Thank god the PEP has risen at least - I was so worried about all those equity partners who were worrying about how to pay the mortgage on their second and third homes!
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Anonymous | 27-Jul-2009 1:50 pm
When you have so 'incensed' your employees that they post comments such as the above, you should review your policies. Either your policies or your position in the firm.
Anonymous | 27-Jul-2009 3:04 pm
a truly disgusting display of utter greed, arrogance and contempt - but given the nature of this firm and the peorple who run it is not in the least surprising.
Anonymous | 27-Jul-2009 4:43 pm
How original. Typical DLA Piper bashing from the comments so far.It is unsurprising that there are so many people with chips on their shoulders given the firm's success in recent years.Comments such as the above betray massive insecurities and an anti-DLA Piper agenda akin to the type of mud-slinging seen in American politics.DLA Piper are by no means the most "arrogant, greedy or contemptuous" firm in the city. To portray them as if they are for alterior motives is transparent and overly simplistic.
Anonymous | 27-Jul-2009 5:19 pm
Re 10:34 amI find the arithmatic in this post rather curious, the possible explanions must be• The poster is numericaly chalenged• I am numericaly chalenged• DLA is a great place to work as the salary levels are out of line with the market• DLA has a cost base (excluding remunaeration) which is someawhat out of control The last two are somwhat unlikely thus it must be one of the others
Anonymous | 27-Jul-2009 5:35 pm
Some worrying maths on display here. 3 NQ's or 6 support staff earn £1.5 million a year at DLA Piper - when can I start?!!
Anonymous | 27-Jul-2009 6:08 pm
Re 5.19 Whether or not you are numericaly (sic) challenged I don't know but you certainly can't spell.Is anyone worth £1.5 million? Of course this is the invisible hand of the market isn't it, and so no one's responsibilityDear DLA equity partner-sorry, I meant Anon at 4.43pm-DLA may not be the most arrogant greedy or comtemptuous firm in the City but it does seem arrogant greedy and contemptuous. Honestly, why not take a pay cut to save some jobs? And I don't think the DLA employee at 10.34 am was a sniping competitor. But hey, put up a man of straw and knock him down-easier than dealing with the real issues.
Anonymous | 27-Jul-2009 7:24 pm
DLA is a partnership. It is run for profit. It is entitled to pay its Chief whatever it wishes. His remuneration is around twice that of a higher level equity partner. But he does more than twice the work for the money. Under his leadership the firm has become a globally recognised name with offices all over the world, boasting a gross fee income in excess of half a billion pounds sterling. His achievements have been recognised by British society and have been acknowledged by Her Majesty with the award of a knighthood. He was one of the first British lawyers to greet the US President. He is exactly the sort of leader the firm needs at what is undisputably a challenging time. The Chief's pay packet is a mark of the success of the firm even during a savage recession, yet the reduction in his take-home pay by a substantial amount shows that the pain of economic retrenchment is shared at the very highest level. Clearly many of the contributors here have too much time on their hands. Not a few of them are incapable of writing grammatically, cannot spell, or count, unlike Sir Nigel. They will never achieve his eminence and may well wish to reflect on whether they made the correct career choice in joining a tough and demanding profession. The news that the deadwood at the associate level is waiting to leave on the next flood of the tide is surely to be welcomed by those committed to the long-term future of this exceptional law practice. It will remain a market leader long after its detractors have passed deeper into the obscurity - and anonymity - in which they currently languish.
Peregrine Mason | 28-Jul-2009 12:48 pm
Hmmmm....The ubiquitous Anonymous' message is interesting ("DLA is a partnership.....) Could have been written by Sir Nigel himself. Not that I would suggest that for a moment. Oh, no.......
Anonymous | 28-Jul-2009 12:50 pm
Am I missing something here...like a newsworthy story. A senior equity partner at a City law firm has seen his profit share reduced. Big deal! The Lawyer has been reporting reductions in law firm PEPs of 30% and more for the last month or so and then suddenly discovers that an equity partner at DLA Piper has had his overall profit share reduced. Why is Sir Nigel and DLA Piper selected for a front page story stating the bleedin obvious?
Anonymous | 28-Jul-2009 12:55 pm
I'm not convinced DLA is a market-leader of anything, nor an exceptional law practice. It appears to want to be Bakers, before Bakers upped the quality. Expansion has put DLA on the map, but I think we all know that for the most part it is a massive, mediocre and pretty mean practice...
Anonymous | 28-Jul-2009 1:42 pm
I am not sure other partners would agree the chief works twice as hard as them...DLA P's profit margin doesn't read as well as its gross fee income. In addition, how much does the US contribute bearing in mind the US and EMEA entities do not share in the same profit pool?However, Knowles has done a good job when you look back to where DLA P used to be.
laughable | 28-Jul-2009 1:49 pm
this is absolutely laughable - DLA now employ people apparently within their organisation to write such drivvel in support of what is a horrific practice which is falling apart at the seams. DLA seems to think that big is best but it's lost its ethos and its way with its own staff.
Anonymous | 28-Jul-2009 9:15 pm
Can't we just all get along? No? Fine - on with the white-collar mudsligging. Urgh (noise I make as I sling my...mud).
Anonymous | 29-Jul-2009 9:13 am
The associate who has been employed during the boom suddenly realises that life isn't one big party, that times do get tough and you have to be up for it. So they reach for the blanket. Good luck on finding a new firm - when the economy improves. In fact why don't you find a new firm now given that its so bad, alternatively your mum will have you back. Our "Generation Y" is starting to wake up.
herbert | 31-Jul-2009 1:01 am
This news is shocking. I think the Law Society's to blame. Just think what life might be like if we hadn't surrendered the conveyancing monopoly in the mid 80's, because to be perfectly frank it's all gone downhill from there. Commoditisation, Tesco law and the devaluation of legal services. Where will it stop, and how will Sir Nigel and others like hime survive? if you've got an answer, tell me. I need somewhere to invest my savings.
Anonymous | 3-Aug-2009 4:44 pm
what a larf.....
impartial observer | 5-Aug-2009 1:08 pm
If you bought some shares in large corporation and got a large dividend, then no one would think that to be unfair. Because DLA is an LLP the shareholders are in effect the members. A large element of the remuneration package is akin to a dividend if the company were a Plc or limited company, that is its an unearned return on the capital investment which the LLP members have made. The owners of the company provide employment and (well paid) jobs for solicitors and others. Capitalism is not slavery - it gives you the safety net that if you don't want to work for someone else, then you can take a risk and either go self employed or set up your own firm. Law is very well adapted for this since the start up costs are minimal - the cost of a PC or laptop, a filing cabinet a phone and the first week's office rent - less than £1,000 in all. Alternatively you can get a bank loan or use credit cards or a re mortgage to buy an exisitng up and running law practice as a retitrement sale.Why don't more qualified solicitors set up their own firms and give DLA some competition? If you get it right, you can be picking up a £1.5m remuneration each year (although admittedly it will take some time to build the firm up to sufficient size for that kind of payout).
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