Ashurst numbers show an odd result

Ashurst partners will be breathing a sigh of relief this week. The firm’s financials – on profit at least – are strong. Average profit per equity partner (PEP) is up 23 per cent to £701,000. It had been a disappointing couple of years for the silver circle firm, which last year only managed 13th position in the PEP league table, with a frankly shoddy £567,000.

But turnover up by only 7 per cent is an oddity in a market where virtually everyone else is recording double-digit rises. Ashurst managing partner Simon Bromwich says that the rise was recorded on a static headcount and that he’s confident that next year’s turnover performance will be better.

Let’s hope so: Ashurst has had a harder time growing its business compared with its peers. Last year, turnover inched up only 2 per cent and the two previous financial years’ revenues were static.

But to get over £700,000 for average PEP will be a psycho-logical boost. It is, after all, all Freshfields managed last year.