Smaller regional and national firms have gained ground on their London rivals in this year’s Legal Business 100 (LB100) after years of the productivity gap widening in favour of the City. And, as some of the strongest performers from the 32 regional firms in the 51-100 bracket have shown, a big part of the shift has come from a growing trend of partnering up with law’s global elite to effectively provide northshoring outposts for blue-chip clients.
Following a muted period and just 1% growth last year, the group’s collective revenue rose a solid 7% to £1.36bn in 2018/19, for an average revenue of £42.4m. The productivity per capita at regional firms, traditionally weaker than London counterparts, also grew where City firms lagged this year, closing a gap that had been steadily widening. Revenue per lawyer climbed 9% to £197,000, compared to an almost flat £267,000 in London. Profit per lawyer stayed flat at £38,000, against £78,000 in the City, which was down 6%. Profit per equity partner (PEP), however, slid 5% to £339,000.