As previously reported in LawFuel, London-based Clifford Chance – the magic circle law firm – has now broken the magic £1 million earnings figure with its latest results. Its champagne all round. The Times reports.

Profit per equity partner (PEP) at Clifford Chance has smashed through the £1 million mark for the first time as the world’s biggest law firm saw revenues climb 16 per cent to £1.2 billion.

Clifford Chance’s PEP – a popular measure of law firm profitability calculated by dividing total profits by the number of partners who own a share in the firm – rose 25 per cent to hit £1.015 million in the year to April 30, 2007.

Passing the £1 million PEP barrier brings Clifford Chance into an elite group of UK firms that already includes “magic circle” rivals Linklaters and Slaughter and May, widely acknowledged as London’s most profitable firm.

PEP has emerged as the most popular measure of law firm profitability in recent years, in part because it is seen as a proxy for what an “average” equity partner at the firm earns. In practice, pay varies significantly between departments and levels of partner seniority and several Clifford Chance partners will have been earning £1 million, or more, a year for the past few years.

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