Baker McKenzie financial results trail ‘magic circle’ rivals

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Aug 02, 2017
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Just when you thought the dog days of August had arrived and every lawyer at the large commercial firms had headed for St Tropez, along comes Baker McKenzie with its financial results.

The Chicago-founded global giant – where the partners react badly when the practice is described as a US firm and even more badly when it is suggested they operate a franchise model – yesterday pointed to a 5 per cent increase in revenue. That was a total of $2.67 billion (which buys even more sterling than it did last year, translating to £2.02 billion). Profits per partner were up by 1.2 per cent, the firm reported, which means that on average senior equity partners across Baker McKenzie’s empire took home $1.3 million (£980,000) each.

The firm’s financial figures were released about a month after the City of London “magic circle” players opened their books. Of the four firms that are legally obliged to report on profits, Linklaters had the richest partners. As The Times reported, those with senior equity in the firm pocketed annual drawings of £1.57 million, a rise of nearly 8 per cent over the year.

Indeed, all five English firms – including Slaughter and May, which is not a limited liability partnership and therefore is not required to report, but is thought to have an average profit per equity partner figure of around £2 million – outstripped the US firm. Not that Baker McKenzie partners are on the breadline, but perhaps there is something to be said for the English model after all.

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