Allen & Overy reported a 7 per cent fall in half-year revenues yesterday and Clifford Chance said that it was cutting more lawyers as law firms continue to suffer from the economic downturn.
Allen & Overy’s half-year fee income fell to £511 million in the six months to October 31 amid a continued slump in transactional work.
Clifford Chance, a “magic circle” rival, which recently lost its crown as the world’s largest law firm, said that it had begun a redundancy consultation with eight lawyers in its London capital markets practice. The firm said that there were no plans for further dismissals.
Falling revenues and additional layoffs at London’s elite law firms suggest that the sector is still adjusting to the financial crisis that wiped out some clients altogether and ruined the appetites of those that survived to do deals. Most large law firms have completed radical restructuring programmes in which hundreds of junior lawyers and partners were laid off as firms tried to streamline themselves for leaner times.