Linklaters handed £2.2m profit share to highest-earning partner in 2010-11

Linklaters’ top-earning partner in the 2010-11 financial year took home £2.2m, the firm’s latest LLP accounts show.

The figure is some £641,000 above the £1.559m top-of-equity figure the firm posted for the financial year.

The LLP accounts, filed this week at Companies House, state that the sum paid to a member “can be substantially above that of a member of full profit entitlement because of compensation for such costs as tax and accommodation payable to members on secondment to other jurisdictions, or because of payments associated with joining or retiring from Linklaters LLP”.

The £2.2m figure is the same as last year’s, the accounts say. The 2009-10 amount was in itself down on the £2.5m earned by the highest-paid partner in 2008-09. The top-earning partner took home £3.4m in 2007-08 (11 December 2008), when the magic circle firm first filed LLP accounts after converting to the legal structure.

The firm turned over £1.197m in 2010-11. Operating profit was £372.4m, profit before members’ remuneration and profit shares was £348.2m, and profit for division among members was £343.8m.

This last figure is much lower than the £514m the firm initially posted as its net profit for the 2010-11 year because the earnings of partners not classified as members of the LLP are treated as an expense and subtracted for the profit figure.

The firm says there are a number of reasons for partners not to be classed as LLP members, including rules in foreign jurisdictions that prevent partners on the ground from being members of the entity.

Staff costs rose 2.5 per cent from £542.7m to £556.8m, while average staff numbers dropped marginally from 4,412 to 4,349. Fee-earner numbers dropped 1.8 per cent from 2,283 to 2,242, with support staff numbers falling marginally from 2,129 to 2,107.

Salary costs increased by 2.2 per cent on 2009-10, while social security costs dropped  by just under 4 per cent. The firm spent nearly 35 per cent more on staff pensions, with the total figure rising from £9.26m in 2009-10 to £12.49m in the 2010-11 year.

Linklaters declined to comment.