Turnover (£m): 78.6
Average PEP: 441
Equity spread (£k): 336-449
Profit margin (%): 14
RPL (£k): 262
While most firms took their hit from the recession in 2008-09, Trowers & Hamlins suffered its biggest downturn in 2010-11. One of the worst performers
in the top 100 during the past year, the firm faced a 20 per cent slump in average profit per equity partner, from £553,000 down to £441,000, and a 12 per cent slide in turnover, from £89.4m down to £78.6m. The profit margin was also down, from 16 to 14 per cent.
Managing partner Jonathan Adlington admits that, out of the firm’s three major work streams – private sector, public sector and Middle East work – the latter two have been knocked sideways by public sector cuts and the Arab Spring respectively.
Adlington, however, remains confident that the firm can rebound during the current year.
Trowers’ management board, which meets monthly, consists of eight senior equity partners plus a non-executive communications director and finance partner. The firm operates a modified lockstep remuneration system. It has 25 senior equity partners out of a total of 118, but another 25 junior equity partners who receive a profit share of between 40 and 75 per cent of senior equity remuneration. Most of the firm’s other UK-based partners are on fixed-share remuneration with a variable bonus, while its Middle East network includes salaried partners.
Equity partners draw a percentage of profit on a monthly basis, with the remainder distributed after accounts are signed off in July. The firm says it also pays “small” pensions to outgoing senior partners, which they build up over 25 years of service. It might be an additional drain on finances, but Adlington claims that it fosters loyalty and a long-term business culture at the firm.