LB 100 – The second quartile: Wind swept


Mid-pack advisers faced contrasting fortunes over the year, with many generalists seeing margins under continued pressure, while a sizeable band of confident City and insurance players rode the winds

With a combined total of 9,859 lawyers, 1,416 equity partners, £2.46bn in revenue and profits of £578.7m, the firms ranked 26-50 in the LB100 lag significantly behind the top 25 as a group.

Revenue at the average firm in the upper quartile of firms is up 9%, inflated by the wave of mergers that has boosted the income at firms such as Dentons and Herbert Smith Freehills, while firms ranked 26-50 managed average revenue growth of 7%.

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LB 100 – The second 50: Scattered in the wind


The gulf between success and failure among the firms occupying the second half of the LB100 is as pronounced as ever. From highly profitable boutiques to ravaged regionals desperate for a merger, we chart the haves and the have-nots

Collectively making up just a tenth of the LB100 firms’ total 2012/13 revenue for 2012/13 of £19.1bn, law firms ranked between 51 to 100 in the table can be polar opposites. The gap between high and low performing firms in these two quartiles is as startling, with profit per lawyer (PPL) varying from £177,000 at ascendant litigation specialist Stewarts Law to just £15,000 at the beleaguered Manches.

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LB 100 – The Five Year View: Riders on the Storm


A five-year view of the LB100 underlines the profound impact globalisation has had on the UK’s top firms but also the soaring success of the best mid-pack players. Legal Business analyses the winners and losers since Lehman unleashed a storm

The five years that have passed since 2008, when the previous year’s credit crunch morphed into full economic meltdown, have been, in relative terms, the bleakest period economically in the UK since the Second World War. Yet despite this, with the exception of 2009/10, when total revenues tumbled 14%, collectively the UK legal profession has grown remarkably during that period. In our 2008 report, total turnover of the top 100 firms was £13.96bn. This year, those top 100 firms have amassed revenues of £19.1bn, an increase of 37%. Continue reading “LB 100 – The Five Year View: Riders on the Storm”

LB 100 – The Last Word: Eyes on the storm

From consolidation to price pressure, to market confidence, leading management figures at Legal Business 100 firms give us their views on the 2012/13 year and the challenges ahead

Value for money

‘We’re facing fee pressure of course – and it won’t ease – but there is recognition from clients of different levels of service. The key word is not price but value. Finding a pricing structure which works for the client is essential, as well as supporting the legal departments of clients – helping them to frame key issues to management, helping on staffing shortages, training and knowledge management and so on. These are all areas law firms should embrace.’

Paul Olney, practice partner, Slaughter and May

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LB 100 – Methodology


The firms that appear in the LB100 are the top 100 firms in the UK, ranked by gross fee income generated over the financial year 2012/13 – usually 1 May 2012 to 30 April 2013. We call these the 2013 results. Where firms have identical fee incomes, the firms are ranked according to the highest profits per equity partner (PEP). Continue reading “LB 100 – Methodology”