Turnover (£m): 66.1
Average PEP: 395
Equity spread (£k): 210-467
Profit margin (%): 33
RPL (£k): 258
Despite near double-digit growth in both revenue and net profit, Burges Salmon’s average profit per equity partner fell by nearly 5 per cent in 2010-11, from £414,000 to £395,000. This, the firm claimed, was because of the addition of five new equity partners (four were internal promotions and one a lateral hire). The firm’s profit margin, meanwhile, dipped from 34 to 33 per cent.
The firm operates a pure lockstep system. Partners enter the equity on 450 points and move up 78.6 points per year for seven years until plateauing at 1,000 points. Partners at the top and bottom of equity took home £467,000 and £210,000 respectively. This is only slightly up on last year’s figures of £464,000 and £209,000. Although the equity spread has remained almost static, profit per member – the figure that includes payments allocated to fixed-share partners – has increased by nearly 3 per cent, from £352,000 to £362,000.
Burges Salmon moved into its new home in Bristol’s Temple Quay last summer. The costs associated with the move were funded entirely by partners in a capitalisation process going back a number of years and an incentive package comprising a lump sum payment from the landlord. This allowed the firm to maintain its debt-free status. Rent on the new building is £27.50 per sq ft.
The firm has no plans to alter the management structure that was put in place in 2010. It includes a partnership committee, heads of department committee and executive committee. The managing partner position, currently occupied by Peter Morris, who took over from Chris Jackson, has a four-year tenure. Jackson had succeeded longstanding managing partner Guy Stobart, who stood down in May 2009, but he returned to fee-earning a seven-month stint. He is leading on a significant procurement dispute for key client Eurostar International against Alstom Transport arising out the company’s decision to award a train-building contract to German company Siemens.