Pinsent Masons posts 7.8% hike in PEP against 14% rise in revenue

Results sees firm buck trend among UK rivals of revenue growth but flat profits

Pinsent Masons has posted a 7.8% increase in its profit per equity partner (PEP) for the 2023 financial year, with revenue growing by 14% to £605.9m. 

The rise in PEP to £797,000 marks a dip from the previous two years’ 16% increases, but nonetheless sees the firm buck the trend of revenue growth but flat or reduced PEP reported by other UK firms so far, including Simmons & Simmons and Ashurst. 

Revenue, meanwhile, rose from £531.1m to £605.9m, the 11th successive year the top 20 UK firm has increased turnover. 

The results are the fourth set posted by Pinsent Masons since it revamped its reporting metrics three years ago to cover a wider range of criteria for measuring success to better reflect the firm’s values beyond PEP. The firm measures and assesses its performance against four core metrics – financial success, people, clients and communities.

Laura Cameron, who became Pinsents’ first female managing partner in May, said: “Over the last year we’ve made significant progress in building out our multinational, sector-led legal and professional services capabilities, promoting 25 to partner across our business and launching 25 new legal services products. 

“Our international skillsets are enabling us to deepen our client relationships through the delivery of more sophisticated offerings, tailored to their needs. Despite challenging economic circumstances on a global scale, we have continued to advise on high profile mandates, such as Asian Development Bank on its energy transition mechanism and supporting NatWest on its first sustainability linked asset-based lending facility.”

In relation to client focus, Pinsents said it had advanced its ESG-focused solutions for clients with the acquisition of sustainable finance consultancy Morgan Green Advisory and embedded professional services specialists in each of its practice groups via the rollout of its advanced delivery teams. Revenue for the firm’s professional services arm, Vario, increased by 38%, with the Vario managed legal services team growing turnover by 64%. 

Looking to its people, the firm said it exceeded its 20% minority ethnic UK trainee target, achieving 21.4%, and marked an all-female leadership team for its three-office network in Australia following the appointment of Phillipa Beck as Melbourne office head. Last November the firm also launched a paralegal SQE career pathway initiative with LexisNexis in a bid to broaden access to the profession, with six paralegals accepting training contracts at the firm this year. 

For its communities metric, Pinsents became a partner of the Charter 1.5 initiative, which seeks to progress legal sector initiatives that accelerate energy transition, and established an ESG board committee to inform the firm on its ESG and sustainability targets and support for clients. The firm also acted in a number of ESG-led mandates, including advising SUSI Partners and its Asia Energy Transition Fund on the launch of a renewable energy platform to develop large scale renewable assets across Southeast Asia.

Other highlights for Pinsents in FY23 included the launch of an office in Luxembourg, its 26th globally, last July following the hire of a large team of lawyers from local independent Wildgen. 

In March the firm also added two partners in London to lead its investor-state dispute settlement and public international law team, with Sylvia Tonova joining from Jones Day and Graham Coop arriving a few weeks later from arbitration boutique Volterra Fietta. 

Andrew Masraf, who took over as Pinsents’ senior partner last October from Richard Foley at the end of the latter’s second term, said the firm’s “commitment to investing in our people, our clients and communities consistently produces results.”

He added: “We’ve had a record year of revenue growth during which we focused on harnessing those investments to provide creative and innovative legal services for clients who are grappling with complex issues in challenging economies.”

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