A group of elite firms using their vast resources to further reinforce in the City; a larger group suffering attrition or stasis as their presence wanes – 2019 proved to be another year of diverging fortunes for international firms in London. When you add to the mix that the leading brands have seen UK revenue outstrip global growth once more, at first glance it all seems a continuation of last year’s narrative.
However, the story is not as straightforward. True, overall lawyer count among the Global London 50 reached 7,434 – a steady 4% increase on last year. But compared to 2018’s 7% growth (or 15% if you include Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP)’s debut), the advance of foreign advisers in the City has slowed as their outposts mature.