Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

AJ100 2020

AJ100 2020: Rising fees income showed a profession in decent health before Covid-19

  • Comment

Fee income, along with earnings per architect and earnings per member of architecture staff, continued to rise in 2019

A 5 per cent rise in fee income to AJ100 practices’ UK offices last year reflected the decent health of the profession before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Aggregated architecture fee income for projects undertaken in the UK and overseas rose to just under £1.38 billion, up from the previous year’s total of just under £1.3 billion and £1.25 billion in 2017.

Top-ranked Foster + Partners again reported the largest architectural fees income, earning just under £200 million, a total more than three times that of BDP, which is ranked second in terms of architecture fee income. Fosters alone accounts for 14 per cent of the total fees reported by the AJ100 practices, compared with 12 per cent the previous year.

AJ100 2020 fees table

2020 RankPracticeTotal architecture fees for projects delivered out of UK offices (to nearest £1,000)Number of architecture staff employed in the UKArchitecture fees for projects delivered out of UK offices per UK member of architecture staff (to nearest £1,000)
70= Populous 21,234,000 71 299,000
1 Foster + Partners 198,132,000 818 242,000
89= HOK 18,860,000 78 242,000
86= Rolfe Judd 7,900,000 40 198,000
18 Pascall+Watson 20,715,000 128 162,000
4 Zaha Hadid Architects 48,782,000 304 160,000
65= Arup Architecture 12,400,000 78 159,000
6 Allies and Morrison 41,369,000 272 152,000
100= Apt 5,000,000 34 147,000
44= Donald Insall Associates 9,000,000 63 143,000
37= PLP Architecture 18,006,000 126 143,000
26= Hopkins Architects 11,825,000 85 139,000
31 Perkins&Will 21,250,000 155 137,000
13 WilkinsonEyre 21,727,000 160 136,000
86= LOM architecture and design 5,291,000 40 132,000
19 AHR 19,714,000 150 131,000
3 Allford Hall Monaghan Morris 50,595,000 396 128,000
22 Broadway Malyan 19,609,000 156 126,000
97= 5plus architects 5,168,000 43 120,000
41= IBI Group 14,000,000 117 120,000
70= Aukett Swanke 6,988,000 59 119,000
2 BDP 57,186,000 481 119,000
79= John Robertson Architects 5,096,000 43 119,000
47= Weston Williamson + Partners 9,800,000 83 118,000
9 Hawkins\Brown 26,509,000 226 117,000
7 Grimshaw 27,974,000 241 116,000
76= NPS Group 11,950,000 103 116,000
93= Stiff+Trevillion Architects 6,164,000 53 116,000
28= Buckley Gray Yeoman 10,265,000 89 115,000
53= SimpsonHaugh and Partners 8,470,000 75 113,000
84= Cartwright Pickard 4,375,000 39 112,000
47= Assael Architecture 8,730,000 79 111,000
23 Chapman Taylor 17,196,000 155 111,000
16 EPR Architects 17,500,000 157 111,000
35= Jestico + Whiles 9,417,000 85 111,000
14 Squire & Partners 18,801,000 170 111,000
56= Orms 6,550,000 60 109,000
15 tp bennett 29,125,000 267 109,000
76= Stephen George + Partners 6,964,000 64 109,000
67= Falconer Chester Hall 6,900,000 65 106,000
93= TateHindle 4,864,000 46 106,000
47= Bryden Wood 9,278,000 88 105,000
8 Atkins 38,000,000 367 104,000
56= Eric Parry Architects 5,358,000 52 103,000
11 Scott Brownrigg 18,196,000 176 103,000
40 JTP 11,519,000 113 102,000
43 KSS 8,415,000 83 101,000
37= ADP Architecture 7,850,000 79 99,000
56= Pick Everard 9,451,000 95 99,000
17 Purcell 16,186,000 166 98,000
97= Hyphen 5,000,000 52 96,000
37= 3DReid 10,382,000 109 95,000
59= Haworth Tompkins 6,997,000 75 93,000
93= Leonard Design 5,968,000 64 93,000
73= Associated Architects 5,500,000 61 90,000
35= Fletcher Priest Architects 8,311,000 92 90,000
52 PDP London 6,644,000 74 90,000
25 Glenn Howells Architects 11,548,000 130 89,000
70= DLA Design Group 8,074,000 93 87,000
62 TODD Architects 4,678,000 54 87,000
12 Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios 14,740,000 174 85,000
41= WATG 9,579,000 113 85,000
24 Corstorphine + Wright 14,965,000 179 84,000
84= The Fairhursts Design Group 3,500,000 42 83,000
79= The Harris Partnership 11,168,000 134 83,000
28= Levitt Bernstein 8,928,000 108 83,000
32 Darling Associates 8,241,000 100 82,000
89= RH Partnership Architects 3,528,000 43 82,000
33= Ryder Architecture 13,148,000 161 82,000
47= AWW 6,520,000 81 81,000
73= Keppie Design 6,124,000 76 81,000
20 Pollard Thomas Edwards 10,520,000 130 81,000
53= FaulknerBrowns 7,300,000 91 80,000
89= Architype 3,200,000 41 78,000
46 Chetwoods 4,900,000 63 78,000
55 Ellis Williams Architects 4,277,000 55 78,000
21 HTA Design 12,847,000 164 78,000
79= Pozzoni Architecture 4,434,000 57 78,000
26= Jacobs 12,600,000 165 76,000
65= BPTW 6,321,000 84 75,000
82= Holmes Miller 4,110,000 55 75,000
59= NORR 6,176,000 82 75,000
89= Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt 2,872,000 39 74,000
63= CDA 4,750,000 65 73,000
44= Formation Architects 5,358,000 73 73,000
100= Gaunt Francis Architects 2,837,000 40 71,000
33= HLM Architects 11,073,000 156 71,000
97= Page\Park 2,500,000 35 71,000
5 Sheppard Robson 22,434,000 315 71,000
67= Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson 3,780,000 55 69,000
82= ECE Group 5,613,000 84 67,000
28= jmarchitects 6,674,000 99 67,000
100= P+HS Architects 4,702,000 70 67,000
51 Bond Bryan 7,961,000 120 66,000
73= Maber Architects 3,900,000 59 66,000
67= Dexter Moren Associates 4,230,000 66 64,000
100= Powell Dobson Architects 4,100,000 64 64,000
10 Stride Treglown 15,632,000 246 64,000
86= Studio Egret West 3,842,000 60 64,000
63= LSI Architects 4,300,000 68 63,000
93= Buttress 2,650,000 43 62,000
59= Maccreanor Lavington 3,820,000 62 62,000
100= Conran and Partners 2,089,000 36 58,000
76= rg+p 4,236,000 78 54,000
2020 Rank                Practice                                            Total architecture fees for projects delivered out of UK offices (to nearest £1,000)Number of architecture staff employed in the UKArchitecture fees for projects delivered out of UK offices per UK member of architecture staff (to nearest £1,000)

Last year, the 19 highest fee-earners accounted for half the aggregated architecture fees paid to UK offices. Now, just 17 practices account for half the total, suggesting an increased concentration of fees.

Of the 99 practices reporting UK fees in the AJ100 both this year and last, 61 said that fees paid to their UK offices had increased, while 34 reported a decline. Four practices had remained the same.

Collectively, these 99 practices increased fees by over £72 million. Fosters reported the greatest absolute increase in fees, with a rise of over £42 million, followed by AHMM (+£12 million), BDP (+£7 million), and Grimshaw (+£6 million). But not all the highly-ranked practices experienced increases in UK office fee income. Zaha Hadid Architects and PLP both reported fees more than £6 million lower than last year, while Stride Treglown was down by £5 million.

In relative terms, HLM reported the highest growth, with fees paid to UK offices up by 39 per cent, followed by AHMM (+32 per cent), and Grimshaw and Studio Egret West (both up 30 per cent). Meanwhile, Conran and Partners, followed by NORR, reported the greatest relative contraction in fees, at -35 per cent and -30 per cent respectively.

Aj100 fees scale 2019 2020

Fees per architect and per architecture staff were both up overall. The median AJ100 practice reported earning just under £168,000 in architecture fees per architect (UK offices only) in 2019, an increase of 6 per cent on last year. Median fees per member of the architecture staff rose by 4.7 per cent to £94,268, compared with £90,000 last year. As was also the case last year, HOK, Populous, and Foster + Partners all achieved particularly high fees per architect and fees per member of architecture staff.

In total, 13 practices achieved fees of at least £250,000 per architect, up from 10 practices last year, and eight achieved fees of at least £150,000 per member of architecture staff, up one from last year. By contrast, at the other end of the scale seven practices earned less than £100,000 per architect, compared with six last year, For the second year running, two practices earned less than £60,000 per member of their architecture staff.

Compared with last year, median fee rates show little change (which is to be expected). However, there appears to be some evidence that fee rates for smaller projects increased slightly over 2019, whereas those for larger projects declined slightly.

Bruce Tether is professor of management at the Alliance Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester and Research Director of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre. Additional reporting by Pamela Buxton

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.