Manches unveils disappointing financials – but top partners earn more

Manches’ gross revenues and average profit per equity partner (PEP) both dropped last year, according to its 2004 year-end figures. But there has been a dramatic increase in the top of equity as its new merit element of the firm’s distribution system kicks in.

Turnover dropped only slightly from £23.8m to £23.5m but average profits, which saw a massive 51 per cent rise in 2003 from £138,000 to £209,000, fell back to £195,000.

Manches chair Jane Simpson told The Lawyer that she was “disappointed” by the firm’s performance last year but argued that 2004 had been a year of transition.

She said: “Now we are investing for the future, notably in new talent. We think we have a very good, strong springboard for growth.”

The firm is understood to be targeting average PEP of £300,000 by 2007 and Simpson added that she was “confident” it would meet that target.

Manches’ introduction of a merit element to its lockstep allows significantly greater compensation for the top-performing partners. In 2003 the top of the equity was £280,000. In 2004 it was £540,000.

The previous 12 months also saw Manches restructure its IP and technology group, with the exit of partners Vernan Dennis and Ross Risby to Edwin Coe and DAC respectively. Alex Carter-Silk now heads the team, which along with retail, real estate and construction form the backbone of Manches’ practice.