UK law firms Clifford Chance and Linklaters took the top two spots in the Lawyer magazine’s Global 100 survey but the big profits remain largely a US game.
*US firms market share decreases
Last year, there were 14 UK firms in The Global 100. This year there are 16, with UK regionals Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard making the cut. And that 16 does not even include Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, Dechert, Jones Day, Reed Smith and Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham, all of which cut major mergers with UK firms.
Other two new entries were both Australian – Allens Arthur Robinson (AAR) and Clayton Utz. In fact, Australia now has five representatives in The Global 100: AAR, Clayton Utz, Minter Ellison, Freehills and Mallesons Stephen Jacques.
* UK firms showed the biggest profit per partner growth
For the most part, US firms tended to hold steady on their profit per equity partner (PEP).
* New York elite remain unbeaten
The top 10 most profitable law firms all have average PEP of more than £1m, and the same names recur at the top of the PEP tables: Wachtell, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Sullivan & Cromwell, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Cadwalader and Kirkland & Ellis. Only Kirkland is not headquartered in New York, but it operates a similarly lean model from Chicago.
1. Clifford Chance
3 Skadden ARPS Slate Meagher & Flom
4 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
5. Baker & McKenzie
6 Allen & Overy
7 Latham & Watkins
8 Jones Day
9 Sidley Austin Brown & Wood
10 White & Case
11 Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw 497 494 US 202 41
12 Weil Gotshal & Manges 493.7 927 US 171 35
13 Kirkland & Ellis 455.5 700 US 354 45
14 Sullivan & Cromwell 454.4 1,282 US 200 44
15 Shearman & Sterling 422.8 627 US 130 31
16 Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale And Dorr 409.4 475 US 150 37
17 Mcdermott Will & Emery 406.4 649 US 186 46
18 Morgan Lewis & Bockius 394.7 491 US 110 28
19 Greenberg Traurig 388.4 537 US 132 34
20 O’Melveny & Myers