Clifford Chance reigns supreme as the top money-making UK law firm by revenue, while Freshfields fell to fourth place for the 2011-12 year. Clifford Chance’s revenues rose to 1.3 billion pounds, due largely to a growth in Asia work.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP revenue fell by about 0.9 percent to 1.13 billion pounds ($1.75 billion) for the 2011-12 financial year, dropping it to the rank of fourth-largest London-based law firm by revenue.
Linklaters LLP held onto the No. 2 slot among the so-called magic circle of London’s largest law firms with revenue rising 0.6 percent to 1.2 billion over the same period.
Of the four magic circle firms that disclose financial information, Freshfields and Linklaters did the worst compared with the previous year. Clifford Chance retained the top spot among the group as revenue rose to 1.3 billion on a significant increase in Asia work. Allen & Overy LLP posted a 6 percent rise in revenue to 1.18 billion pounds, moving it ahead of Freshfields to the three slot behind Linklaters.
At Freshfields, “our biggest immediate priority is how we react to developments in the euro zone,” Chief Executive Officer Ted Burke said. “A significant amount of our business is in the euro zone and the depreciation of the euro has impacted us.”
Linklaters signed an exclusivity agreement in April with Sydney-based Allens Arthur Robinson that includes a joint venture in Asia, making the firm “very comfortable with the size that we are now and the way we are building the business,” Simon Davies, managing partner at Linklaters, said in a phone interview.
The “focus is on quality and that may not necessarily lead to us opening everywhere,” Davies said. “We are trying to look at it in a more sophisticated way by being more selective.”