Clyde & Co management pay dips as bank loans soar to £36m

Clyde & Co senior management took home about £12.3m in 2016-2017, as the firm’s new bank loans rose sharply.

The firm’s accounts, published at Companies House, showed the firm’s senior management saw pay dip 2% from £12.5m the previous year. Senior management constitutes all designated members, a number of senior members and managers across the group.

The firm’s bank loans more than tripled to reach £36m, up from £10m the year before. In total, the firm took out £76.4m during 2016-17 but paid back £30m during the financial year. At the same time, cash at bank and in hand increased from £18.1m to £28m.

Clydes chief financial officer Duncan Crowdy said the firm had agreed new bank loans to prepare for further expansion. “In line with our growth and expansion plans, and as detailed in the LLP accounts, we entered into a new five-year multibank finance facility in 2016/17 to secure scope for future expansion at the currently low cost of borrowing. The figures reflect the drawing down of a portion of this cheaper new facility to pay expiring facilities and to fund growth and investment projects during the year.”

The highest-paid equity partner saw pay fall 2% to £1.4m.

Staff costs grew by 18%, from £200m to £237m, partially due to a sharp increase in wages and salaries which increased from £179m to £213m, a 19% rise. The average number of staff also grew from 3,023 to 3,274, while the average number of LLP members increased from 262 to 305.

The fall in staff numbers came as chairman Michael Payton, head of Americas James Burns and head of employment Robert Hill stepped down as designated members, with insurance M&A partner Dean Carrigan and marine partner Andrew Preston replacing them.

The firm posted a 14% increase in turnover from £447m to £511m, while profits rose by 6% from £117m to £124m.

Clydes was on an expansion drive in 2017, launching in Mexico, alongside associations in Malaysia and New Zealand. The firm also launched in Bristol through a double partner hire from Kennedys and Womble Bond Dickinson.

The firm also ramped up its US presence with the hire of a 15-strong team from now-closed US firm Sedgwick and a team of 10 lawyers in Miami, including two partners, from Chicago-based Hinshaw & Culbertson.