Streamlined firms emerge from ashes of annus horribilis

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  • why have you compared H1 figures with full year for 2008-09?

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  • I think it is even worse than your chart, in fact I know it is. My firm is there and we can't be alone in making the very best of half year results. Just wait till accounts are filed and I bet you'll see how most, if not all, these firms were less than truthful in revenues. They likely pulled every accounting trick available to bolster the numbers.

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  • Eh? What? Since when are these firms the UK Top Ten? By your own tables (UK 200, 2009), Slaughter and May and DLA Piper would be in the Top Ten by turnover, and Simmons & Simmons would beat CMS Cameron McKenna by some margin. If you're going to pick and choose (I suspect LLP firms, from a rush-view), then at least define your parameters at the outset.

    And what are you comparing the H1 figures with? H1 of 2008-09? Or H2 (ie the immediately-prior period)? And why don't you correlate the figures with the number of partner departures at each firm (and PEP)?

    Add to this the number of 'n/a' results in the relevant table and a lack of meaningful analysis and you have a set of figures which may make a nice table but is of relatively little real value to anyone, besides a certain vicarious interest.

    C'mon Lawyer, you can do much better than this!

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  • Reducing partner numbers is a little more than a palliative care solution. The core problem is a business model that delivered so many partners in the first place; especially when a large proportion of them are unable to generate income that exceeds thier true fixed costs. The result is top heavy operations providing services at unnecessarily high prices. In this environment it is little surprise that commercial cleints feel alienated and want more for less - who wouldn't?

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  • I would be very interested to hear of Ashurst definition of job losses. If it is anything to do with people leaving the organisation against their will, add a 0 to the stated figure and you may be closer to the truth!

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  • @ anonymous, 11:55am

    Interesting. I would say the opposite - the table misses out on just how much things have improved in the last couple of months. My firm is also on that list, and our full year figures are going to be pretty good (if things continue on the current path). Revenue will be up and, more importantly, profit will be massively better than 08/09.

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  • @Richard B
    I assume this is because the figures (as it states in table) are based on LLP filings with Companies House. Slaughters and Simmons aren't LLPs. DLA has a different structure, you'll probably find that's why.

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  • Some medium sized LLPs/firms getting rid of so called under achieving partners (in a panic to reduce costs) are removing a swathe of expertise and gravitas within their firm. Why? Panicing managing partners (with no fee targets) are worried about losing their own substantial drawings and are making rash short term decisions. And who holds them to account for their erroneous decisions? Not shareholders - to quote Ball's 'business model' analogy. Noone!

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  • If firms have to put all this information in their LLP filings, which obviously anyone can access at Companies House, then why don't they just come out and say exactly what they are doing in the first place? It seems archaic that firms still hide behind their sacred partnerships when in reality they are massive businesses. It doesn't make sense for them to pretend they are trying to protect the identities of the people who are shoved out (their beloved partners) when they refuse to be specific about how many partners have gone from which departments. If Cliffod Chance, for example, had just said x partners have gone from corporate and y from finance most people would accept that and think good on them for being so honest. No one really cares about who exactly they are, unless perhaps you'relooking to hire a former CC partner. Being secretive makes you think there's something to hide, and that certainly makes me want to look up their LLP filings to try to work out what that is.

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  • So when salaried partners leave does that count as an llp resignation? Or does it only count equity partner resignations?

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  • Dirt - yes, salaried partners count as LLP resignation. All partners are members of the LLP, regardless of their equity status.

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