Turnover (£m): 45.5
Average PEP: 223
Equity spread (£k): 169-242
Profit margin (%): 18
RPL (£k): 190
Dickinson Dees’ figures show pronounced falls in turnover and profit last year, with revenue down from £48.8m to £45.5m and net profit sliding from £9.1m to £8m.
Managing partner Jonathan Blair said the Newcastle firm’s year-on-year financials were affected by the divestment of its family law practice in September 2010 as well as receipt of deferred payments from the 2008 sale of its volume property business until the financial year-end of April. He admitted that the sluggish commercial property and corporate markets took their toll on turnover, but claimed the first quarter of the current year saw increased activity in both sectors.
The management board comprises Blair, senior partner John Marshall, four departmental heads and two elected partners who are re-elected every three years. Several non-lawyers also attend board meetings, including the finance, HR and marketing directors.
The firm is currently in the midst of a partnership consultation on remuneration in which it is proposing to move from a modified lockstep towards a more merit-based system, with more emphasis on appraisals.
Its remuneration already has merit-based components, with partners able to move in both directions along the 10-point lockstep. Last year each equity point was worth £24,000. Junior equity partners received a fixed salary element of £50,000 plus an additional variable payment between 1.5 and four points on the lockstep. Full equity partners moved between six and 10 points.