K&L Gates London keeps up PEP despite profit dip

K&L Gates London keeps up PEP despite profit dip” />Profit per equity partner at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis (K&L Gates) rocketed by 28 per cent last year, from £308,000 in 2005 to £386,000, despite a drop in the net profit of the London end of the business, The Lawyer can reveal.

London administrative partner Tony Griffiths said K&L Gates has taken an additional four floors at its Cannon Street offices and has invested
heavily in IT. The additional costs meant that London’s profit contribution to the firm’s global profit pool dropped by around £2.5m.

Despite the drop the 26 City equity partners’ remuneration increased along with the firmwide figures.

The disparity is explained by the termination of a two-year financial guarantee for legacy Nicholson Graham & Jones equity partners. This ended on 1 January this year. All London partners are now remunerated out of the firm’s single profit pool in its Delaware LLP.

“The costs for the London office did increase last year, but the average profit figure for London equity partners also increased from around £300,000 in 2005 to £386,000 last year,” said Griffiths. The equity spread in London ranged from around £200,000 to £700,000.

The revelation on figures coincides with the strengthening of the firm’s banking and finance group through a three-lawyer hire from Dechert. The team is led by Andrew Petersen, a qualified barrister, who joined K&L Gates last Wednesday (14 March) after six and a half years at Dechert.

Petersen specialises in real estate financing and recently worked in the US, where he acted for loan originators advising on commercial mortgage-backed securities’ origination through to securitisation.

Griffiths said securitisation and structured finance was complementary to the firm’s existing strengths in finance and real estate.