UK 200 position: 33
Macfarlanes’ financial results for 2011–12 show an impressive performance for a firm received wisdom tells us is too exposed to the UK M&A market.
Revenue jumped 8 per cent from £94.65m in 2010-11 to £102.23m, taking Macfarlanes back over the £100m turnover mark it had not breached since 2008.
The 20 per cent spike in average profit per equity partner, from £752,000 to £903,000 (the highest since £1.1m in 2007–08) was more dramatic on the surface but conceals the reality: an 11 per cent drop in the size of the equity partners, from 53 to 47.
Macfarlanes has begun to look at the Asian market, even though a full office launch is probably a long way off. It seconded environment partner Paul Davies to Slaughter and May’s former Chinese best friend Jun He and is putting efforts into securing relationships in the region.
Senior partner Charles Martin is reluctant to rule out the launch of Macfarlanes’ first international base, but the firm is unlikely to branch out far from its conservative nature.
Equally conservative is its financial management: it has no debt and no overdraft facility. It takes an as-and-when approach to adding to the equity, rather than the stricter timescale for junior partners’ promotion used by rivals such as Travers Smith.
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“I enjoyed my studies at university, I wanted to use my degree, and I also wanted to work in a profession that was both academic and commercial.”
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Overview20 Cursitor St
Turnover (£m): 102.2
Total lawyers: 225