Pay slashed as Clarke Willmott retains profits

Clarke Willmott has held back a chunk of its 2010-11 profit to invest in the firm, meaning equity partners will pocket profit shares ranging from £35,000 to £163,000.

Stephen Rosser
Stephen Rosser

This is despite the fact that the firm said its average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure rose by 5.5 per cent to £172,000, based on a net profit figure of £5.7m.

Chief executive Stephen Rosser said: “We don’t have to distribute the profits.”

The bottom of equity ­figure of £35,000 represents a drop of 68 per cent on the £110,000 for 2009-10 and is just £10,000 ­higher than the £25,000 average pay packet handed to non-equity partners.

However, Rosser said the low figure took into account the exit of an equity partner last August who took ­partial profits.

Although turnover was down from £40.8m to £36.5m, Rosser said the ­previous year had included a “one-off item” and that the firm was focused on improving net profit.

“I’m satisfied our audited accounts will show a significant improvement in our profitability compared with the year before,” he said.

The withheld profits come after Clarke Willmott reorganised its banking facilities earlier this year, swapping RBS for HSBC.

According to the firm’s LLP accounts, the deal included a £2m overdraft, a £2m loan over four years and a £1.8m loan over two years. The firm also made a £1.89m cash-call during the 2009-10 financial year.

The firm implemented a 2 per cent pay rise across the board in 2010-11 and recently made up nine partners.