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The U.K.'s Highest-Paid Lawyer

Well, we don't exactly know who is the U.K.'s highest-paid lawyer, but we do know that he or she is a partner with Allen & Overy and earned 1.8 million pounds -- that's $3.4 million U.S. -- in fiscal 2006.

We know this because the United Kingdom requires limited liability partnerships to file detailed accounts of their finances. Bloomberg News reporter Caroline Byrne reviewed those accounts and, in a report published this week, found that million-pound packages were paid to four unidentified U.K. and U.S. partners in London law firms. (Not all firms have converted to LLP status to avoid the filing requirement.)

While some partners are earning millions in London, others are losing millions, Byrne found. She reports that partners at London offices of three U.S. firms -- King & Spalding, O'Melveny & Myers and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman -- are losing substantial amounts as they struggle to establish a London foothold.

Firms are not required to name names in the filings. Still, "the figures are the first detailed snapshot of the financial highs and lows of the U.K. partnerships," Byrne writes. Of the four law firms that paid top partners more than a million pounds, three are based in the United States: Dechert, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary.

But other firms still struggle in London, Byrne reports:

"O'Melveny & Myers lost 3.2 million pounds in the U.K. in 2004 and 2005. Atlanta-based King & Spalding partners lost 3.14 million pounds in 2003 and 2004. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, based in San Francisco, lost 1 million pounds in the same period."

The report also shows a large spread in income between the top earners and salaried partners.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 24, 2006 at 03:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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