Linklaters’ staff costs fell 16 per cent in 2009-10, LLPs reveal

Staff costs at Linklaters fell by 16 per cent in the 2009-10 financial year, according to limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts filed with Companies House.

Costs stood at a total of £543m for the year to 30 April 2010, down from £642m the previous year.

During the same period, the total number of staff fell from 5,053 to 4,412 – a fall of 13 per cent. The number of fee-earners fell from 2,626 to 2,283 (13 per cent), while support staff levels dropped to 2,427 from 2,129 (12 per cent).

Meanwhile, the average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure at the magic circle firm fell by 7 per cent to £1.2m. These profits were distributed among an average of 360 members at the end of the financial year, up from 358 in 2008-09.

The highest paid Linklaters partner received a profit share of £2.2m, down from £2.5m in 2008-09.

The accounts also reveal the geographical spread of fee income which, firmwide, dropped to £1.18bn from the previous year’s £1.296bn – a 9 per cent decline.

Asia and continental Europe both suffered double-digit turnover declines, while revenues for the UK and Middle East collectively decreased by 7 per cent.

Asian turnover stood at £123m, down 14 per cent from £142m. Europe was down 11 per cent, from £490m to £438m, while the UK and Middle East brought in £542m, compared with £584m in 2008-09.

Only the Americas held up relatively well in terms of revenue, suffering a 2 per cent downturn, from £80m to £79m over the 12-month period.