SNR Denton partners question one-off £500k payout for former chairman

SNR Denton partners have criticised a payout to former Denton Wilde Sapte chairman James Dallas of around £500,000 last year, despite profits per equity partner (PEP) falling by 36% in 
the UK partnership.

City energy partner Dallas, who chaired legacy Dentons until 2009, is understood to have been paid the one-off sum last spring in addition to his regular profit share as a result of a deal negotiated ahead of his relocation to Dubai in 2008.

Partners questioned the payout at a November strategy meeting looking at how to boost the EMEA arm’s profitability and were told that the deal was made by a previous board, many of whom are no longer with the firm. Dallas returned to London at the end of the last financial year after three years in Dubai, at which point he became a salaried partner.

A current partner said: “People are pretty upset. A £500,000 payout is quite a lot of money in the context of last year’s figures. It is an old deal that has come back to bite everybody.”

The transatlantic firm’s EMEA LLP reported PEP of £232,000 for 2010-11. Prior to Dallas’ move to Dubai, 2007-08 PEP at legacy Dentons 
stood at £470,000.

One former partner of the firm said: "The firm was doing a lot better at the time [when the deal was negotiated], making what looked generous then seem absurd today."

A spokesperson said: “The firm does not disclose or discuss the personal financial circumstances of individual partners as a matter of policy.”

By Sofia Lind

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