The average annual earnings for partners at UK law firms has reached £200,000 for the first time, according to a chartered accountancy firm.
Hazelwoods found that partners are now paid £201,000 on average, up from £187,000 last year and £149,000 in 2012.
Partner profits took a hit after the financial crash, falling every year from 2008 to 2012, but have since bounced back, the study suggests.
Hazelwoods said the increase in earnings reflects the continued growth of the UK’s legal sector in recent years, which has been less affected by Brexit than originally feared. It added that firms have not created many new partners so as not to dilute the earnings of existing partners.
Hazelwoods partner Andy Harris said: ‘UK law firms learned a lot of lessons from the last recession. They run much tighter ships and are more efficient at converting hours worked into bills which are paid.
‘Expensive new office overheads are taken on with more care and diversification efforts that fail aren’t allowed to run at a loss for too long.’
Profits per equity partner (PEP) at magic circle firms remain well above the average. In 2018, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer reported PEP of £1.73m, while Allen & Overy’s PEP rose to £1.64m.