When it comes to reporting figures, the silence from offshore firms speaks volumes. Firms are fiercely protective of their profit per equity partner (PEP) figures, which inevitably leads to speculation.
Walkers is currently at the heart of that gossip-mongering. The Cayman Islands-headquartered firm recently pulled out of merger talks with Mourant du Feu & Jeune. That merger announcement had met with a degree of trepidation, and ultimately a sigh of relief when it was called off, from the offshore fraternity.
It is understood that Walkers' massive PEP figures could have been the stumbling block. Although the firm has 46 partners, only eight are thought to be full equity partners and they are reluctant to share the wealth.
"That's the real problem with Walkers' growth," said an offshore source. "It's one of the issues Mourant had with the merger."
Inexplicably, the firm declined to respond when The Lawyer put in a request for Walkers' full equity partner numbers.