Linklaters is the most productive of London’s 20 largest law firms, generating 24 percent more in fees per employee than bigger competitor Clifford Chance LLP, a Bloomberg survey found.
The world’s second-largest law firm had revenue per employee of 168,763 pounds ($304,000) in fiscal 2005, about 32,000 pounds more than Clifford Chance and 20,000 pounds greater than the next most productive, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the figures show.
The efficiency gap, which comes after a year in which Linklaters advised on more billion-dollar European mergers than anyone else, shows that similar firms are missing out on a “huge profit opportunity,” said Roger Zair, an accountant in Grant Thornton LLP’s professional practices group.
“Firms like Freshfields, Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy are all going to have a similar cost base in terms of remuneration per employee as Linklaters,” Zair said in an interview. Clifford Chance, for example, could make around 216 million pounds more in profit if its employees operated as efficiently and won as much work as Linklaters staff, he said.