Wedlake Bell posts 120 per cent PEP hike

London-based firm ­Wedlake Bell has posted the biggest rise in average profit per equity partner (PEP) of the 2009-10 ­financial year so far – an astonishing 120 per cent

PEP has risen from £120,000 in 2008-09 to £244,000, dwarfing Shoosmiths’ 69.5 per cent rise to £256,000, the second-largest PEP hike seen this year. Wedlake, which has an office in Guernsey, also posted a whopping 89 per cent increase in net ­profit to £3.4m on a flat turnover of £19.8m.

The firm’s profit payout has changed from an equal shareout between partners of £120,000 to a new equity spread ranging from £220,000 to £270,000. Despite the massive rise in PEP, the current figure is still short of the firm’s 2006-07 high of £260,000.

The profit hike is largely down to a reduction in the number of equity partners, from 17 to 14, while the firm has also made 18 staff redundant, although the majority of these were non-lawyers.

Managing partner Philip Matthews said: “I think [the results are] pretty much what we expected and we turned out more or less on budget on the costs side.

“What we saw last year was the effect of cost savings we made in 2008, when we made redundancy ­payments. We’ve placed a lot of effort in running as tight a ship as possible.”