Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s average profits per equity partner have stayed just ahead of the firm’s elite U.K. rivals, despite slower revenue growth during the financial year.
According to a firm statement on Wednesday, revenue rose by 7% to £1.7 billion compared with the previous year. Without exchange rate movements, revenue rose 10%, the firm said.
Earlier in July, Allen & Overy reported 10% growth in revenue, nearing closer to the £2 billion mark at £1.94 billion, while Clifford Chance managed an 8% rise to £1.97 billion.
Freshfields’ PEP figure has inched ahead of rivals however to reach £2.07 million, rising 8% to better elite London firms A&O’s £1.95 million PEP figure and Clifford Chance’s £2.04 million.
Last year, the firm’s PEP figure stood at £1.91 million.
In the statement, global managing partner Rick van Aerssen said: “We have delivered another robust set of results for the firm, reflecting our continued commitment to deliver for clients around the world.
“Despite tightening market conditions globally, I’m particularly delighted we’ve achieved a sixth consecutive year of revenue growth – underlining the strength and resilience of the firm’s long-term strategy and our teams’ understanding of where Freshfields can best add value.”
The firm has continued to invest significantly in the U.S. market this past financial year, with Hogan Lovells life sciences partners Kristen Riemenschneider and Vinita Kailasanath and Cravath, Swaine & Moore dealmaker Damien Zoubek.
In particular, Freshfields has charted quick growth on the West Coast, thanks to IPO, M&A and SPAC work fueled by technology clients.
The firm’s European growth has also been notable, with Germany as a key market. It launched a special claims unit in Germany to deal with mass ‘dieselgate’-style claims at the end of 2021, later building on it in June by opening presences in the German cities of Nuremberg, Mannheim and Hanover.
In London, the firm made a rare lateral partner hire into its private equity practice, to remedy a spate of private equity partner exits in recent years. The departure of two of its highly-rated junior private equity partners to Kirkland & Ellis in October 2021 prompted some market observers to say that “the wheels have come off” at the Magic Circle firm.
Freshfields also set the new pay rate for London NQs at the elite firms, raising the base salary to £125,000 in April — which Clifford Chance later matched.
Linklaters is the last of the London elite yet to report its financials.