Accountancy firm Ernst & Young has unveiled record growth and a big pay rise for partners.

UK revenues rose 20 per cent to #1.13 billion in the financial year to the end of June, up across all service lines and industry groups. Average profit per partner surged 27 per cent to #686,000.

Staff numbers increased by over 650 during the year – also a record – as was the number of countries from which they were recruited, 26 in all including Switzerland, Ecuador, Ukraine, Mauritius, the Dominican Republic and South Africa.

In Birmingham they rose 200 to a total of 500.

The UK figures follow the announcement last month of global revenues ahead ten per cent to $18.4 billion for the same period.

The assurance and advisory business services practice showed the strongest growth, up by 23 per cent to #587 million.

Growth came from new audit wins, the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards, and compliance with the requirements of the US Sarbanes Oxley Act and other financial services regulation.

The transaction advisory services practice performed exceptionally well in a strong corporate and private equity market with revenues up 19 per cent to #234 million. Corporate restructuring also had a relatively good year.

The tax business saw growth of 14 per cent on 2005, up to #309 million.

Although revenues were up across all the industry sectors there was particularly strong growth in financial services and government work.

Mark Otty, chairman of Ernst & Young in the UK, said: "The firm has reported record results. This financial success stems from our early reaction to changes in our chosen markets."

Mr Otty's predecessor Nick Land was paid #1.8 million in the period.

E&Y said it had put a particular focus on recruitment and retention.

Mr Otty said: "In order to stay ahead of the competition we

have had to be innovative in attracting new recruits and secondees from offices outside the UK."

Partner numbers rose 11 per cent to 435 while the staff total was 7,902, an eight per cent increase.

Ernst & Young's senior partner in Birmingham, Ronnie Bowker, said the performance from the Colmore Square-based practice mirrored the strong national results.

He said: "We have continued to benefit from the changes brought about by IFRS and Sarbanes-Oxley, and the knock on effect of increased governance in the corporate arena.

"Further growth for our business assurance practice has also been fuelled by significant audit client wins, and as a result we have experienced a strong increase in revenues on last year. Companies continue to have an appetite for transactions and are keen to invest, as was experienced by our corporate finance practice which advised on one of last year's largest full market listings, Britvic, along with M&B's #479 million acquisition of 239 pub restaurants from Whitbread."

Corporate restructuring had handled some of the region's most high profile administrations including Eliza Tinsley and Metal Castings.

The buoyant activity resulted in positive growth for the transaction advisory support team and the tax team.

Mr Bowker went on: "Increased regulation has had a huge influence over corporates and their choice of advisers. Companies are no longer reliant on one firm of advisers for all services. Businesses requiring a range of services are dividing work across a wider range of professional service providers.

"Although this presents professional firms with certain challenges, we continue to thrive in this new environment. The Birmingham office is a truly full service practice, and is able to cater for a range of businesses from the across the Midlands without the need to outsource work to London.

"The region's economy remains strong, with fast growing, entrepreneurial businesses and large corporates thriving. This economic buoyancy is filtering through to the professional services community, and we are certainly feeding off this prosperity."