LB100: The Top 25 – Wind in their Sails


Consolidating firms are jostling for position in the race to dominate international and UK markets. But even amid fairer conditions, the course to victory is uncertain.

‘To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.’

Franklin D Roosevelt, 1938

‘One feels from the body language out there that firms which have come through the recession successfully are beginning to unwind, beginning to stretch a bit, beginning to feel as though more business is coming back – particularly in the corporate market. The corporate partners who had to lay low for some years are starting to unfurl their wings a little bit and ruffle their feathers.’

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LB100: Shipping and Insurance – Peaks and Troughs


If the post-Lehman years have in general been good to the City’s insurance and shipping specialists, 2013/14 has been a year of starkly diverging fortunes amid the familiar backdrop of margin pressure on the volume end of the market.

As such, this loose grouping of law firms has seen some of the strongest performances in the LB100 in 2014, while others have weathered falling revenues and job cuts.

This is most strikingly demonstrated in the two most prominent brands in the City insurance market, Clyde & Co and Ince & Co. While the former has largely sustained its robust growth of recent years, with an 8% increase in global revenues to £365.1m and with profits increasing 10% to £92.8m, Ince has seen a 7% fall in income to £86.7m.

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LB100 2014: Behind the Numbers – Profitability Revealed


Which firms are the most profitable?

In this table we blend together all of our profitability measures, including PEP, profit per lawyer and profit margin to discover which of the top 100 firms are the most profitable. The 100 firms have been ranked according to their mean rank across all three measurements. Continue reading “LB100 2014: Behind the Numbers – Profitability Revealed”

LB100: The Second Quartile – Close Hauled


It’s an unforgiving environment, but 2014 once again shows the well-captained mid-tier outfits sailing free.

‘I’m a great believer that you can always do better and however good a particular year was, you have to exceed that. And we are far from perfect.’ So says Simon Beswick, managing partner at Osborne Clarke (OC), one of the strongest performers in the Legal Business 100 (LB100) this year.

The Bristol-based firm saw turnover rise 26% in 2013/14 – the largest single increase in the LB100 – and has seen revenue rise by 69% since 2009.

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LB100: The Second 50 – Ports and Storms


As some seasoned campaigners of the second half of the LB100 prepare to move up a class through mergers, a few City-based specialists continue to defy the tide of consolidation.

Of the merger activity that has swept through the Legal Business 100 (LB100) this year, it is the mid-market City players and national heavyweights that occupy the second 50 of the LB100 that have been most affected.

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LB100 2014: Methodology and Notes


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 2013/14 – usually 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014. We call these the 2014 results. Where firms have identical fee incomes, the firms are ranked according to the highest profit per equity partner (PEP).

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LB100: The Last Word – Market Comment


From collaboration to rough quarters to restoring market confidence, leaders at Legal Business 100 firms give us their views on the last financial year and the next 12-18 months.

Persistent challenges

‘I feel very optimistic about the economy and therefore the opportunities. Any firm would be foolish in thinking the challenges have gone and those challenges continue to be how we deliver immaculate service and efficiencies to our clients. The market as a whole is still over-lawyered and that challenge remains. It’s still fiercely competitive.’

Monica Burch, senior partner, Addleshaw Goddard


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