Field Fisher latest firm to hold back partner profits

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has confirmed it has delayed its latest quarterly payout to partners due to the firm’s “conservative” financial approach.

Managing partner Michael Chissick said the firm had already paid three scheduled quarterly distributions this year, known at the firm as special drawings, but that it had taken a prudent approach by holding back the final instalment.

In a statement, Chissick said: “I can confirm that the March special drawings to partners has been delayed. We’ve already paid out three of the scheduled special drawings this year, however we’ve chosen to take a more prudent approach in relation to the final special drawing.”

He highlighted FFW’s plans to move to new London headquarters, an extensive lateral hire programme and international office expansion as examples of “significant investments” the firm is making.

The firm is considering taking space in properties include Cannon Place, in which CMS Cameron McKenna is also showing an interest (7 March 2013), and 10 Aldermanbury (12 February 2013).

Chissick added: “Activities across the firm remain high and we’re not overly reliant on external sources of finance. Due to our conservative nature to cash flow and debt we’ve chosen to hold the special payment. We’ll continue to assess our financial position over the coming months and pay the March drawing when we feel the time is right.”

The news comes after Ashurst (11 February 2013) and SJ Berwin (4 March 2013) delayed quarterly distributions for November and January respectively, while Berwin Leighton Paisner recently delayed paying out bonuses to senior equity partners (8 March 2013).