Macfarlanes management team pay dips as top earner takes £2m

Macfarlanes management team took home £4.1m between them in 2016-2017, according to the firm’s latest LLP accounts, down 5% on the previous year.

The accounts state that the group’s combined remuneration rose from an equivalent figure of £4.3m the previous year, when their pay increased by 13%. It is unclear from the accounts whether the number of people in the management team stayed the same.

The accounts also show that the firm’s top earner was paid £2m, representing a 15% increase on last year’s £1.7m.

The latest accounts also show that staff costs at the firm rose to £53m in 2016-17, up from £48m the previous year. The firm had an average of 84 partners during the course of the year, an increase of just one.

Two Macfarlanes practice heads left during the last financial year, with competition head Marc Israel joining White & Case earlier this year, and financial services head David Berman leaving for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in late 2016.

The firm’s total professional staff fell from 333 to 331, while its support staff numbers rose by ten from 219 to 229. Staffing costs rose during the year from £48m to £53m.

After falling dramatically from £2.3m to £715,000 last year, the firm’s pension scheme surplus grew to £1m.

The Companies House filings also show that operating profit rose 4% from £82.5m to £86m during 2016-17, while turnover grew 5% to £167.8m.

Macfarlanes previously announced an 8% increase in profit per equity partner (PEP) in 2016-17 to £1.38m. This followed a drop of 16.7% in 2015-16, when PEP fell to £1.29m. The firm had a particularly strong year in 2014-15, posting PEP figures second only to Slaughter and May among the UK top 50.

Key deals for the firm in the 2016-17 period include advising on London-listed property company Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate’s $4bn (£3.7bn) merger with its US parent company.