For all the improving signs, glancing at our annual Global 100 report shows headline performance largely comparable with 2013. The group increased billings by 4% to $88.63bn, a rise of 4% and the same growth rate achieved in 2013.
As with last year, the result was flattered by several large mergers – but top 100 firms have in contrast this year kept a tighter grip on headcount.
As such, firms have seen a 2% rise in revenue per lawyer – tracking just behind inflation, while profit per equity partner is up 7%. For all the talk of giving clients value, top law firms remain intensely focused on margins.