Taylor Wessing rides technology wave with strong year-end figures

Taylor Wessing rides technology wave with strong year-end figures” />Taylor Wessing has posted a robust set of figures in line with the upturn in fortunes of technology-focused firms such as Bird & Bird, Field Fisher Waterhouse and Olswang.

Average profits per partner were up slightly, from last year’s £344,000 to £348,000, reflecting a profit margin of 32 per cent. Turnover was down slightly, from £65m to £64m.

The most significant change is the spread of equity partner remuneration. As a result of Taylor Wessing’s recent compensation review, equity partner points have been reallocated to boost entry level partners’ take-home pay. Last year, the top and bottom of equity stood at £606,000 and £164,000, a ratio of more than 3.5:1. This year the spread is closer to 2.5:1, with bottom of equity partners taking home £214,000 and those at the top earning £536,000.

Taylor Wessing managing partner Gary Moss said the move was to offer a “significant financial reward” for becoming a partner. “[The spread] has been a problem in the past and this has been recognised,” he said. “We believed that we were out of step with the market. We appeared to be towards the extreme end and so, at the remuneration review last year, we addressed that.”

Moss also revealed that the firm had paid out the whole of 2002-03 profits by the end of the last financial year, that Taylor Wessing continued to have no debt, and that it had put in “an exceptional performance” in reducing debtor days from 64.5 to 57.

Moss admitted that next year, the firm will face significant cash investment in IT because of the installation of a single accounting system in all of its three key jurisdictions. “It was not that much last year, but going forward it will involve a greater expense,” said Moss. “The cost of implementing a single accounting system will be in seven figures.” The implementation is expected by the end of 2005.