Static PEP for Watson Farley

Watson Farley & Williams has announced flat year-end results, with average profits per equity partner remaining static at £358,000 in 2004.

Turnover fell by 6.25 per cent, from £48m to £45m, even though average fees per fee-earner increased from £293,000 to £298,000. The bulk of turnover, £33m, came out of London, representing a rise of £500,000 on last year.

Net income jumped an impressive 10.4 per cent, from £15.4m to £17m.

Managing partner Michael Greville argued that, in real terms, turnover has increased by £1m, because if the fee income from the 42-strong Paris team that defected to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in 2002 is discounted from last year’s results, it would have turned over £44m. He also attributed the rise in fees per fee-earner to the Paris departures. “This year it’s bound to be higher, because on average we had fewer people than last year,” he said.

In a separate move, the firm has continued its partner hiring spree with the appointment of SJ Berwin telecoms partner Maurice Murphy, who will join the firm next month.