The Second 50 – Batten Down


The LB100’s regional players have seen starkly divided fortunes with the South West players sailing ahead while northern firms face choppy waters

Collectively, the 29 regional firms in the second half of the Legal Business 100 (LB100) trail in the wake of other peer groups. While average revenue is £38.4m, a little below the £39m of the second 50 as a whole, revenue per lawyer (RPL) is 9% lower than the average for firms ranked 51-100. In terms of profits, average profit per lawyer (PPL) is £45,000, some 10% lower than the bottom 50 average, while profit per equity partner (PEP) is £309,000. Continue reading “The Second 50 – Batten Down”

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 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: 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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Reviving deal market lifts LB100 as top UK firms edge up profits and fees


While the headline Legal Business 100 (LB100) results are once again inflated by significant merger activity at every level, there is evidence that many of the top 100 grossing firms in the UK are enjoying organic growth again.

Total revenue for the LB100 for 2013/14 is £20.82bn, an increase of 9%, while lawyer headcount swelled 6% to 65,111. With revenue growth slightly faster than 2012/13 but headcount growth slower, average revenue per lawyer (RPL), profit per lawyer (PPL) and profit per equity partner (PEP) were all up by 3% to £320,000, £98,000 and £640,000 respectively.

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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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