Baker McKenzie grows London revenues as pay for top earner more than doubles to £2.6m

Baker McKenzie’s London revenues grew by 6% during the 2016-17 financial year, as the firm’s top earner in the City saw their pay more than double, according to the firm’s latest limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts.

The accounts, which cover the firm’s London business, show turnover rose from £176.1m to £187.3m for the year ending 30 June 2017, while profit for distribution grew 15% from £70m to £80.7m.

This marks a relatively modest increase compared to 2015-16, when London revenues increased by more than 20% and profit for distribution rose by 48%.

The City results come after the firm posted a record high global revenue figure of $2.67bn (£2.02bn) in 2016-17 – nudging up just over 2% on last year’s figure, with average profits per equity partner (PEP) staying broadly static at $1.3m (£984,000).

The accounts also reveal that Baker McKenzie’s highest-paid London partner for the year received £2.58m – more than double the equivalent figure of £1.2m from 2015-16.

Total remuneration for key management personnel also saw a significant increase, rising 18% from £5.5m to £6.5m, although the accounts do not state whether the number of individuals in this group changed on last year.

The accounts also show that the average number of partners in London increased from 83 to 92 over the year, while staff costs rose 12% from £59.5m to £66.5m, as staff numbers grew from 648 to 680.

During 2016-17, Bakers London managing partner Paul Rawlinson became the first British chairman of the firm, succeeding Eduardo Leite. Tax partner Alex Chadwick was appointed to succeed Rawlinson as London office head, taking up a three-year term in September 2017.

In March last year, Rawlinson announced that as part of the firm’s refreshed 2020 vision, it would focus on major industrial clients and aim to ramp up transactional headcount in New York, London and China.

So far in 2018, key lateral hires for the firm have included Ropes & Gray finance partner Matthew Cox, and Linklaters counsel Megan Schellinger, who joined as a partner in the capital markets practice.

This week (9 April) the firm also hired White & Case partner Michael Doran in its structured capital markets team.

Bakers is moving towards greater financial integration across the EMEA region, with the London office and seven other bases set to operate under a single profit pool from this July.

The newly integrated business will see 1,000 lawyers across London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Madrid, Johannesburg, Bahrain and Qatar all sharing profits, although some parts of Bakers’ European business – such as Paris and Germany – will not be included.

The new structure will be led by Brussels-based global antitrust head Fiona Carlin, who will take up the role on 1 July this year when the integration goes live.