Staffing and fee figures at country’s biggest firms laid bare

Big consultants are growing their fee income quickly without adding many more staff, Building’s Top 150 consultants survey has revealed.

On average, top 10 firms had chartered staff growth of just 1%, with a couple seeing falling numbers, while smaller firms – those ranked 51-150 – saw an average chartered staff increase of more than 10%.

But the biggest firms actually boosted their UK fee income more quickly, on average by 13.9%.

Each top 10 firm raked in £319,000 in fees per chartered staff member, while those ranked 51-150 earned around two-thirds of the amount – just £218,000 – per chartered staff member.

The survey also revealed that the number of consultants who said they were worried about business prospects for the coming year was at its highest level since 2012.

For the first time since the year of the London Olympics, more firms said they felt pessimistic (25%) than optimistic (19%) about the upcoming 12 months.