Legal Business

LB100 Macfarlanes: Swimming Against The Tide


At the time of the first LB100, Macfarlanes was three years into a non-exclusive international alliance that included US firm O’Melveny & Myers, Paris-based Simeon & Associés (now part of Lovells), and Germany’s Noerr Stiefenhofer Lutz.

There were offices in Tokyo and Brussels, and indeed Julian Howard, now managing partner of the firm, was the partner in charge of the Tokyo outpost from 1992 to 1997.

Today, the business is a wholly different animal, having entirely bucked the trend and abandoned its alliance and international growth pretensions. In 20 years the firm’s turnover has nevertheless steadily crept in the right direction, from £28m then to £102.2m today, with the only blip being a plunge of more than 15% between 2008 and 2010.