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Pace-setters: how the fastest-growing Global London firms are rising up the L500 rankings

Despite growth slowing amid a stuttering deal market in 2023, the Global London law firms have cut a swathe through the City over recent years, with their purchasing power enabling them to consistently acquire market share in London.

The Legal 500 rankings offer detailed insight into the scale and focus of this growth – as a group, the Global London firms have increased their number of top-tier Legal 500 rankings by almost 40% over the past five years – a stark comparison to the Magic Circle, where tier one rankings have remained flat.

For this data analysis, we focused on the top-ten fastest growing Global London firms over a five-year period (full list below), and took a closer look at how that growth is illustrated by their growing prominence in the London rankings.

These ten firms have seen their combined Legal 500 rankings grow by more than 50% over five years, while also more than quadrupling their number of top-tier rankings over the period. The standout firm on that metric is Kirkland & Ellis, which five years ago had no top-tier London rankings, but now boasts eight across practice areas such as private equity, acquisition finance, funds and restructuring.

The fastest growing Global London firm by headcount is Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, which has grown its London lawyer count by 133% from 93 to 217 over five years, with partners doubling from 20 to 40, while also adding Legal 500 rankings in areas such as restructuring, infrastructure and competition.

To view the editorial commentary of the rankings go to:

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