HSF Top Pay climbs as Dentons profits recover, LLPs show

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Herbert Smith Freehills main partner’s pay has risen 15% over the past financial year, while Dentons’ UK and Middle East profits have recovered from its previous poor performance, according to accounts of the two businesses.

HSF’s highest paid partner won £1.9 million in the financial year ended April 30, 2021, compared to £1.6 million the previous year, according to its latest limited liability company accounts published on Companies House.

Corporate payroll costs rose to £506.5m from £496.4m the previous year. Its average number of members during the year was 365, compared to 350 at the end of the previous year.

The account also shows that globally the firm provided 67,000 hours of pro bono advice in the year it reached £1billion in revenue. for the first time. Of that revenue, British and American arms accounted for 44%, the accounts added. The company’s Australian subsidiary returned 32%.

HSF’s report accompanying the LLPs says the firm’s employment, retirement and incentive practices have seen significant growth in demand, particularly in Australia, and its alternative legal services offering has contributed to good revenue growth.

Some notable assignments for the firm during the year included National Grid Council in its £7.8 billion acquisition of the UK’s largest electricity distribution company, Western Power Distribution, from US-headquartered PPL Corporation, and also advised HS2 for a total contract value of £12 billion on its North-South high-speed railway.

The accounts of Dentons UK and Middle East LLP were also filed this week, showing the branch’s profits rose after a disappointing performance the previous year.

The company’s operating profit rose 9.7% to £62.8million at the end of the year on April 30, 2021, after falling 16% in the Previous exercice.

The average number of partners in the firm was 166, down slightly from 170 the previous year.

The partners’ highest salary rose slightly from previous years, with the highest-earning person taking home £2.2m from £2.1m previously.

Cash at bank and in hand also increased slightly from £17.8m in 2020 to £20.7m in 2021, while payroll costs remained the same at £117m .

Dentons took advantage of the UK government’s VAT deferral scheme and fully refunded the VAT balance due in March 2021. The company also used the UK government’s scheme to lay off some of its staff between March and August 2020 to a sum of £768,629, which was fully repaid in October 2020, according to the accounts.

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