Ashurst PEP rockets 36 per cent to hit £956k

Ashurst has released its average profit per equity partner (PEP) figures for the last financial year, announcing a massive 36 per cent rise to just shy of £1m.

Equity partners at the top 10 firm will now take home, on average, £956,000. This time last year, the figure was £701,000.

The massive improvement in PEP is in addition to the 28.5 per cent rise in turnover to £275m that Ashurst reported a month ago, propelling the firm into the UK top ten, ranked by revenue (see The Lawyer, 4 May).

Ashurst’s PEP for the 2006-07 financial year is well above that of Herbert Smith, at £810,000 and is now chasing that of the magic circle firms, where Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are reporting an average PEP just north of £1m.

Ashurst runs a modified lockstep and the equity spread in the last financial year was £480,000 to £1.2m.

Firm managing partner Simon Bromwich told The Lawyer: “Everywhere has been genuinely busy. Germany has grown particularly fast but every group in London is hiring. Probably the finance practice is the fastest growing across the firm.”

The last financial year has seen Ashurst move into Sweden and capitalising on the M&A boom. It has landed some choice instructions on mega-deals including advising Russian aluminium giant Rusal on its three-party £16bn merger with Linklaters’ clients Sual and Glencore; it has just learnt that it will be jointly advising Rusal on its London listing (see The Lawyer, 18 June) this coming financial year.

Bromwich said: “We knew that this year we had to translate the investments of the last two years into top-line growth, and that’s now been achieved. There is a very good spirit within the firm right now.”