Selling cars helped Ashurst boost coffers by half a million pounds in 2011/12

Ashurst raised more than £500,000 by selling off company cars during the 2011/12 financial year after only a small number of partners opted into a car scheme.

The firm’s LLP accounts, filed at Companies House on Tuesday (22 January), show that the firm disposed of motor vehicles worth £555,000 during the financial year, but slashed its fleet of cars by £517,000 taking into account exchange differences and the extra £35,000 of cars it added.

In 2010/11 the firm disposed of £537,000 of motor vehicle but bought another £421,000, meaning the total value of its company cars that year dropped by just £116,000.

The drop in the most recent financial year resulted from low uptake among partners for a car, which are available to all senior equity partners seeking one through a lease scheme.

Meanwhile, the firm’s highest-earning partner in 2011/12 took home £1.053m, a marginal increase on £1.052m in 2010/11 (7 February 2012). This represents the firm’s top-of-equity figure.

Separately, the firm’s advisory fees to auditors, mostly Deloitte, jumped by 59 per cent from £348,000 in 2010/11 to £555,000 in 2011/12, largely on the back of the firm’s expansion through its tie-up with Australia’s Blake Dawson.

While audit fees dipped from £134,000 to £130,000, non-audit fees nearly doubled, rising by 99 per cent from £214,000 to £425,000. Tax advisory fees, previously the only figure making up the non-audit amount, rose from £214,000 to £263,000, while other non-audit fees in 2011/12 were £162,000.

Staff headcount rose by 4 per cent from 1,602 in 2010/11 to 1,673 in 2011/12 on the back of Asia Pacific and European expansion, while total salary costs increased by 8 per cent from £116.2m to £125m during the same period.

Firmwide turnover excluding Ashurst Australia in 2011/12 was £321.2m, marginally down on the £322m unaudited figure it announced in May last year (29 May 2012). Revenue jumped by 7 per cent from £301.2m in 2010/11.