Freshfields sees turnover and profit fall in 2009-10

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has unveiled an 11 per cent drop in revenue for 2009-10, posting a global figure of £1.14bn.

Ted Burke
Ted Burke

Average profit per equity partner (PEP) also fell, although the drop from £1.44m to £1.41m represents a marginal fall of 2.6 per cent year-on-year. Net profit was down by 2.3 per cent from £603m last year to £589m.

The results see Freshfields fall from second to third place in the ranking of UK firms by turnover, with Clifford Chance, which released its figures earlier this week, leapfrogging it back into the top spot (7 July 2010).

The magic circle firm has marginally increased its number of equity partners from 417 to 419.

Chief executive Ted Burke said the figures showed that the firm’s performance had remained solid over a two-year period despite the year-on-year decline. In 2007-08, Freshfields’ turnover stood at £1.18bn, while PEP was £1.484m, although this was distributed among 401 equity partners.

“Like many other businesses, we’ve seen a downward trend in our financial results over the past year but, given the very difficult markets and ongoing economic uncertainty, the results are relatively healthy,” he said.

“This level of performance during challenging times is a real credit to the efforts of our people, their focus on helping our clients, and the balance among our practice areas and sectors.”

All four magic circle firms have posted drops in revenue over the last 12 months. Allen & Overy was 4 per cent down, Clifford Chance fell by 5 per cent and Linklaters posted figures showing a drop-off of 9 per cent.