Last night (2 July) the Magic Circle firm released its financial figures for the 2011-12 British financial year, which ended on 30 April.
The figures showed that A&O increased its profit before tax by seven per cent to ₤486 million ($742.7m), leaving its 427 full partners with an average payout of ₤1.1 million ($1.68m).
The average partner payout last year was also ₤1.1 million, but a weaker Australian dollar 12 months ago meant that figure translated to around $1.7 million.
Under the firm's partnership structure, the highest-paid full equity partners can receive as much as £1.6 million ($2.45m).
To earn that level of income, a partner must be on 50 profit-sharing points, the highest level within the firm.
The firm's full partners are on between the minimum level of 20 profit-sharing points and 50 points. Partners on 20 points attracted a profit payment of £640,000 ($977,000), which is slightly down on last year. Partners are able to increase the amount of profit-sharing points attributed to them by two points per year.
While A&O does not release the revenue figures for individual offices, Grant Fuzi, the firm’s Australian managing partner, said the Perth and Sydney offices had a “fantastic year”.
The firm’s total turnover for 2011-12 stood at ₤1.18 billion, which was an increase of six per cent from the previous period.
More than 60 per cent of the firm’s turnover was generated from offices outside of the United Kingdom, a record figure.
“Despite the downturn we have continued to invest in our people, practice groups and locations, adding three further offices in key growth markets during the last 12 months,” said Wim Dejonghe, the global managing partner of A&O. “These new markets, alongside some of the more mature economies, continue to perform very well under difficult circumstances.”
A&O has 42 offices in 29 countries, with 427 full equity partners and a total partnership of 512.
In late June, Herbert Smith, the British-based firm that Freehills will merge with on 1 October, announced that its annual turnover figure for 2011-12 was £480m.
Clifford Chance is expected to announce its financial results for 2011-12 shortly.
Last year, A&O’s Magic Circle rival in Australia pulled in over £1.2 billion