Global 100: The long haul


A decade of flying the Global 100 has left some legal players frazzled while others have become increasingly energised. Here we chart ten years’ performance by the world’s largest law firms

‘We want to be the number one global law firm and, without a strong US component, we won’t achieve that,’ – this comment, made by Linklaters managing partner Simon Davies in 2008, reflects a perennial issue since Legal Business first began producing its own list of the top 50 global firms by revenue in 2004. The tussle between the UK Magic Circle and the Wall Street elite has dominated agendas since that period. Continue reading “Global 100: The long haul”

Global 100: Scheduled departures


Asia continues to dominate when it comes to new offices opened by Global 100 firms. But despite the attraction of exciting Eastern destinations, there are growing questions as to whether the travel is paying off.

‘People have the view that Asia is a rice bowl and they are waiting to gorge themselves,’ says a partner at a US law firm based in Singapore. Given the trends in recent office openings by the Global 100, it would appear there are still plenty of firms queuing up to have their fill. Over half of the 41 Global 100 firms that opened new offices in the last 12 months chose to open them in Asia, adding up to 28 new offices in the region in total, with Seoul and Singapore by far the most popular destinations. This contrasts significantly with last year when just ten Global 100 firms launched ten new offices across Asia.

Continue reading “Global 100: Scheduled departures”

Global 100: Norton Rose Fulbright


The ascent of Norton Rose up the global league has been swift in recent years, with the City-based law firm currently in 14th place in the Global 100, with turnover marginally up to $1.33bn. Profits per equity partner (PEP) were $887,000.

This growth came due to the dramatic expansion of the Norton Rose Group with the addition of Australian mid-tier Deacons in 2010 and subsequent takeovers in Canada (Ogilvy Renault and Macleod Dixon) and South Africa (Deneys Reitz). Continue reading “Global 100: Norton Rose Fulbright”

Global 100: Latham & Watkins


Despite facing considerable reverses in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis – which saw a sharp fall in revenues and profits in its 2009 financial year – the US-based Latham & Watkins looks to have settled back into a solid upward track.

The Los Angeles-bred firm had another robust year in 2012, reinforcing its position among the global elite with a 6% growth in net profits to over $1bn. After achieving top quartile growth for the 2011 financial year, revenue growth was this time more subdued, rising 3% to $2.22bn while profit per equity partner (PEP) rose by 8% to $2.4m. In the last full boom year of 2007, Latham posted revenues of $2bn, against PEP of $2.27m. Continue reading “Global 100: Latham & Watkins”

Global 100: DLA Piper


A highly symbolic year for DLA Piper, with the rapidly-assembled business services juggernaut becoming the world’s largest law firm in revenue terms with income up 9% to $2.44bn, while profit per equity partner (PEP) was up by 6% to $1.3m.

The 1,300-partner firm – which now has nearly 80 offices worldwide – also made ground in pushing up the value chain, a key aim behind the 2011 appointment of former Linklaters head Tony Angel as global co-chair. Profit per lawyer (PPL) was up 10% annually to around $150,000 as the number of lawyers decreased by 3% to 4,036 firm-wide. Continue reading “Global 100: DLA Piper”

Global 100: The client view


FTSE 100 general counsel (GC) say global firms have finally listened to their concerns on costs and that, if anything, the scales need to be tipped in favour of strengthening their relationship once more.

A year ago it was far from uncommon to hear the GCs of large international companies say that, while they battled to stay within a shrinking budget, their trusted advisers showed a surprising detachment from economic reality and a lack of empathy with their clients’ financial situation. Continue reading “Global 100: The client view”

Global 100: Methodology



Financial data shown is for the last financial year – either calendar year 2012 or 2012/13.

Financial years differ – most end in December in the US, and in April in the UK.

Legal Business takes the compilation of the Global 100 very seriously. We make every effort to ensure that the figures we publish are accurate and precise. The overwhelming majority of firms co-operate fully with us in this regard by providing us with the required information. Some firms choose not to co-operate officially with our data collection process and in these circumstances we rely on figures given to us by trusted but anonymous sources. Continue reading “Global 100: Methodology”