Turnover (£m): 90.3
Average PEP: 403
Equity spread (£k):263-523
Profit margin (%): 24
RPL (£k): 249
Osborne Clarke’s recent push to drive up quality has included internal restructurings, management overhauls and a ‘sector-first’ approach. Its back-office outsourcing arrangement with Integreon is the highest-profile example of its internal rejigging, while its sector focus, which includes targeting projects work, has also borne fruit. All this paid off last year, with Osborne Clarke posting an 8 per cent growth in revenue to £90.3m and an average profit per equity partner of £403,000, up a notch from £393,000 in 2009-10.
Keeping an eye on working capital has also long been integral. Managing partner Simon Beswick is evangelical about the importance of making individual partners responsible for getting bills out and paid. Indeed, remuneration is partly conditional on hitting working capital targets. The evidence that this works lies in Osborne Clarke’s lockup. At the 2010-11 year-end the firm had an average lockup of just 79.8 days, consisting of 34.1 days work-in-progress and 45.7 days of debtors.
‘Efficient’ also describes the management structure. Beswick sits on a small policymaking partnership council with just senior partner Tim Birt, four heads of location and two non-executives. Beswick also sits on the six-person executive board with the heads of the four core practice areas and head of markets Greg Leyshon. There is no remuneration committee: the executive board makes pay ecommendations to the partnership council to either approve or query.
Last year Osborne Clarke simplified its partnership structure by introducing a single type of fixed-share partner. They enter the equity on a four-year progression, the profit share increases each year in equal stages (4, 8, 12 and 16 per cent of a full share). Full equity partners enter the lockstep on 60 points, moving up 10 points a year until reaching 100.