Ashurst holds profits steady as revenue rises 6 per cent

Ashurst has announced a 3 per cent increase in average profit per equity partner (PEP) for the 2011-12 financial year, with plateau partners enjoying a million-pound payout for the second year running.

The news follows the announcement of the firm’s 2011-12 revenue, which rose 6 per cent to £322m (29 May 2012).

The City firm today posted a PEP figure of £744,000, up on £723,000 in 2010-11, while the equity spread this year ranged from £405,000 for those at the foot of the lockstep to £1.052m for those at the top. Last year the top of equity broke £1m, standing at £1.013m, with partners at the bottom of the ladder earning a £390,000 profit share (7 July 2011).

The 4 per cent increase in the top of equity figure – a percentage hike roughly equal to that for those on the bottom of equity – follows a warning issued by the firm’s remuneration committee earlier this year urging plateau partners to keep their game up or risk being moved down from the top of the lockstep (12 March 2012).

It is understood that no partners have been moved down from the plateau since its introduction in 2008, with the number of members at that level standing at 30 in 2010-11, although how this has changed since then is currently unclear.

Net profit saw a 5 per cent hike to £112m, up from £107m, a slighly smaller increase than the 8.5 per cent net profit rise it enjoyed in 2010-11.

Equity partner count is understood to be roughly constant at around 150 both this year and last year.

None of the figures include income coming from the firm’s new business arising from its tie-up with Australia’s Blake Dawson, which came into effect in March (26 September 2011).