Legal Business 100 overview: Your story

lawyer makes worried phonecall about brexit

This year’s Legal Business 100 coincides with the most inauspicious of anniversaries after a year with the most inauspicious of beginnings. A decade since the start of the global financial crisis and just over a year since the result of the Brexit referendum, the perception is that political and economic uncertainty has ultimately had little impact on the performance of top 100 UK law firms. Particularly on those at the top.

The drama has been well documented. UK and European markets continued to show resilience, mainly aided by foreign investment, despite the last financial year starting off with six to eight weeks of post-referendum impact. By Christmas, transactional practices were upbeat and grew stronger into 2017. Then article 50 was triggered just before the end of the financial year and unease settled in again. Continue reading “Legal Business 100 overview: Your story”

The Legal Business 100 2017


Legal Business 100: The second 25 – Faster, pussycat

While the second quarter of the Legal Business 100 (LB100) has seen a 7% increase to £2.93bn in its combined revenue over 2016/17, the group has been impacted by further consolidation at the start of the calendar year, which will see around £230m stripped from this total in our 2018 report. This group is starting to feel the squeeze from those above and below in the LB100 – making it the most variable section of the top 100.

Over the last financial year the second 25 accounted for 13% of the LB100‘s combined revenue, with average turnover increasing 5% to £117m. Average revenue per lawyer saw a 7% leap to £272,000, while profits per equity partner (PEP) also increased by 2% to £495,000 (see ‘Core Stats‘). Continue reading “Legal Business 100: The second 25 – Faster, pussycat”

Legal Business 100: The second 50 – Eyes on the prize

pop art woman with the word Brexit reflected in her sunglasses lens

As the debate over the future of London as a legal hub in a post-Brexit world rages on, London boutique firms and City practices that occupy the second half of the Legal Business 100 (LB100) have quietly got on with business.

While in 2015/16 this group of firms was arguably the strongest-performing in the LB100, Brexit – and its prevailing effect on the UK real estate market – has proven a stubborn opponent. As such, while collective performance is short of previous years, for the most part these London firms have battled through uncertainty to record stable results. Continue reading “Legal Business 100: The second 50 – Eyes on the prize”

Legal Business 100: The second 50 Regional view – After the bang

l b 100 logo

The strain of macroeconomic conditions on UK firms is starting to show, as the immediate impact of last year’s Brexit vote meant many firms experienced a slow summer and a dip in confidence that carried on for many until the end of 2016 and even into the new year with the triggering of article 50 in March.

This uncertainty is reflected in some individual and regional results for this year’s Legal Business 100 (LB100). However, overall figures look strong. There are 31 non-City firms in the 51-100 bracket, compared to 19 London firms, with a combined revenue of £1.26bn, up 11% on last year’s £1.14bn. The number of regional firms in the bottom 50 has increased by one: a new entrant comes in the form of Scots insurance litigation firm Digby Brown, which has total revenues of £27.3m, while national firm Thompsons has dropped a few places this year to enter the bottom half of the table.

Continue reading “Legal Business 100: The second 50 Regional view – After the bang”

A long time in politics

david higgins

Oh for the days when politics was the last thing on the minds of City advisers. For years, British politics was an ignored backdrop for a legal profession used to a globalist, free-market agenda since the 1980s. How quaint such times seem in a national economy and City now overshadowed by Brexit and a convulsing political dynamic in a country once famed for stable one-party government.

Teaming up with NatWest, Legal Business gathered a group of senior City lawyers on the evening of the UK’s general election on 8 June to gauge what is on the agenda for the UK’s largest law firms. If nothing else it was striking how concerned – and disenchanted – City lawyers have become with the political classes and uncertainty… even speaking just hours before it became clear that the Conservative government was to lose its working majority. Continue reading “A long time in politics”

The Global 100: The European question – Have years of cuts left the Magic Circle exposed as Brexit looms?


London’s top firms have been quietly retrenching for years in mainland Europe. As Brexit looms, where has that left the Magic Circle?

‘Welcome to Europe, the haven of legal certainty,’ quips Burkhart Goebel, Hogan Lovells’ managing partner for continental Europe. Continue reading “The Global 100: The European question – Have years of cuts left the Magic Circle exposed as Brexit looms?”

The Global 100 2017

Continue reading “The Global 100 2017”

The Global 100 overview: Atlas shrugged

Political shocks, gyrating currencies and choppy markets – it has been yet another testing year for the Global 100. Legal Business looks at those shouldering the burden and those buckling under

Twelve months ago, the global legal community was reeling from the shock UK referendum result to leave the EU. Senior industry leaders shook their heads and predicted even more turbulent markets in what was already an uncertain global economy.

Continue reading “The Global 100 overview: Atlas shrugged”