Eversheds shows some PEP

Some basic mathematics today, courtesy of Eversheds: how do you get yourself a juicy 28 per cent rise in profit while simultaneously registering a drop in revenue?

As chief exec Bryan Hughes would no doubt explain, it’s a pretty simple formula: employ fewer people.

Last year, there were 150 equity partners at the top 10 firm. This year there are 136. Chuck in the firm’s various redundancy programmes and it hardly takes the love-child of Carol Vorderman and Stephen Hawking to work out that the Eversheds wedge is being spread a little more thickly this time round.

Still, the new PEP figure of £517,00 is still down on the £552,000 the firm managed to post two years back.

Eversheds is one of the first firms to pop its head above the parapet in this year’s results season. The only other top 30 player to show its hand is Denton Wilde Sapte, which also reported a hefty hike in PEP while seeing turnover fall (see story).

While these two may be setting the tone for the next couple of months, could it be that the less well-performing firms are just waiting to bury their bad news?