The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has undergone a thorough restructuring that has helped boost average profits per partner (PPP) by 12 per cent, while those at the top of equity will now take home £500,000, a rise of 33 per cent.
The firm has rejigged its management board, revamped its remuneration system and slashed non-performing partners and associates.
“There’s been a pretty thorough clearing out,” said an FFW partner. “The restructuring streamlines everything. We’re a much fitter, leaner firm. It’s an indication of a sea change that’s really exciting.”
Despite a number of lateral hires, FFW has cut the partnership by four from 81. Average PPP are up 12 per cent, from £290,000 to £325,000. Turnover has risen 7 per cent, from £43.9m to £47m, and the firm has 38 full equity partners.
The big change is at the top of equity, where pay has been boosted by 33 per cent from £376,000 to the magical £500,000 mark. FFW now apportions a greater percentage of its profits on a meritocratic basis to ensure that its biggest billers are adequately remunerated and to entice quality lateral hires.
FFW’s remuneration system for partners has always had a merit-based element, but it has now become the most important aspect of a partner’s paypacket. The first £100,000 is guaranteed. The lockstep has 20 points. A partner joins the lockstep on 11 points, with each point worth £5,000. The rest is based on performance.
FFW managing partner Colin MacArthur heads a new management team that was previously elected, but now consists of the firm’s five departmental heads. He highlighted the performances of the technology, Alternative Investment Market and public sector practices as drivers behind the firm’s growth.