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Partners claim the prize after mass redundancies

Partners claim the prize after mass redundancies

Partner profits have skyrocketed as firms chipped away at staff numbers in the past year.

PARTNER profits have skyrocketed as firms chipped away at staff numbers in the past year.

At Allen & Overy LLP, one of London’s top-grossing law firms, partner profits rose 10 per cent after massive lawyer cuts.

Allen & Overy is the first UK firm to post profits from the 2009-10 financial year.

Revenue fell 4 per cent to £1.05 billion ($1.88bn) for the year ending 30 April, the firm has said in a statement. Profits per partner, the standard method for measuring law firm results, rose to £1.1 million ($1.96 million) on average – up from £1m ($1.79m) last year.

The firm also confirmed that staff costs fell 11 per cent to £384m ($687m), which had about 450 partners globally. In February 2009. The firm fired 250 lawyers and 200 staff in a £46m ($82m) restructuring.

“We have made strategic choices to secure future growth, and in doing so have built resilience into our business, enhances our global reach and diversified out practice area mix,” Wim Dejonghe, managing partner of the firm, said.

Equity partners received individual profits ranging from 661,000 pounds ($1.18 million) to £1.65m ($2.9m). This was combined with the fact that as overall firm profit fell less than 1 per cent to £428.8m ($768.8m), the average number of partners declined by 39.

At Allen & Overy, other income was derived from sub-letting space in the firm’s London headquarters, which generated £2m. Finance director Ian Dinwiddie said the firm had been “particularly successful in [letting] spare space to American law firms”.

The firm occupies around 550,000 sq ft of the 700,000 sq ft building at One Bishops’ Square on the fringes of the City. Paul Hastings, Proskauer Rose and Akin Gump occupy most of the rest of the space.

The results come as Allen & Overy announced it would open in Indonesia through an association with Daniel Ginting Law Firm. The one-partner office will target Islamic finance, capital markets and project finance opportunities. A&O joins a handful of international firms, including Baker & McKenzie, Herbert Smith and Norton Rose, that have a presence in Jakarta through local associations.

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