Great bright hopes – searching out the City rainmakers of 2020

Great bright hopes – searching out the City rainmakers of 2020

Who will be the next generation of corporate heavyweights that top City firms will rely on to drive their businesses in the decade ahead? Legal Business canvassed a wide group of deal veterans to identify the ones to watch.

It is often said that the best of the City’s M&A partners were battled-hardened and defined by the early 1990s recession. That formative experience is often argued to have helped refine the skills and ethos of the select band of M&A heavyweights that dominated the City legal market through the last 15 years.

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Eversheds, Pinsent Masons and DLA Piper lead the UK pack in The Legal 500

National heavyweights score for breadth of recommendations as CC shines in the City

Eversheds has once again emerged as the most recommended law firm in this year’s The Legal 500 UK edition, which was released at the end of September. The top-20 Legal Business 100 firm achieved 198 recommendations overall, thanks in part to its significant City and national coverage.

The three top-ranking firms in the 2013 directory are consistent with last year, when Eversheds gained 202 recommendations in total. Pinsent Masons again appeared in second place with 179 recommendations, while the world’s largest firm by revenue, DLA Piper, was placed third with 155. Two new entrants are featured in fourth and fifth places this year, largely due to significant consolidation. DWF, which rose dramatically to the top 25 of the LB100 after completing five mergers in around two years, came recommended 128 times, while Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees, which combined to form Bond Dickinson on 1 May, managed 114 recommendations.

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After the surge a pause – expansive A&O sees a lull in growth as first Magic Circle player confirms 2013 results

After the surge a pause – expansive A&O sees a lull in growth as first Magic Circle player confirms 2013 results

Having been the stand-out City player in its weight class since the 2008 banking crisis re-shaped the global legal market, Allen & Overy (A&O) has this year seen a relative slow-down in growth as the firm becomes the first Magic Circle practice to unveil its 2012/13 results.

The 525-partner law firm saw a 0.6% increase in revenues for its year to April 2013, with income hitting £1.19bn. Profit per equity partner was also flat at £1.1m while total profits before tax were up 2% to £496.7m. Continue reading “After the surge a pause – expansive A&O sees a lull in growth as first Magic Circle player confirms 2013 results”

Magic Circle sees revenues up after muted financial year

Turnover at Magic Circle firms rose by a modest 2.6% this year, with the UK’s five Global Elite firms pulling in over £5.2bn of fees and £4.2bn worth of profit in the 2011/12 financial year.

As the UK’s financial reporting season kicks off, Allen & Overy emerges as one of the top performers after another strong year that saw turnover climb by 5% to reach £1.18bn, up from £1.12bn in 2010/11. The firm is one of the best performing in the group over the past five years, growing revenues by an average of 3% each year since 2008. Much of that can be attributed to the firm’s network in emerging markets, with around 15% of A&O’s lawyers now based in Asia.

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Breaking the Circle

Breaking the Circle

In 2002 LB made the bold move of placing Herbert Smith into the Magic Circle. But ten years on, has the firm kept up the pace?

What a difference a decade makes. In the April 2002 edition of LB, we sparked widespread debate when we placed Herbert Smith into the Magic Circle (see ‘Fellowship of the Circle’, LB123). We called it the ‘biggest change at the very top of the legal market since the merger of Clifford Turner and Coward Chance’ and praised the UK firm for its leading European corporate practice, its stellar financial performance and its successful challenge to the perception that it was a litigation-only firm.

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Magic Circle reigns but cracks are there

Magic Circle reigns but cracks are there

In the same way the sports media has speculated long and hard these past couple of years on the ‘demise’ of Tiger Woods, much has also been said about the Magic Circle also losing its aura of invincibility since the global financial crisis.

The Magic Circle’s relentless pursuit of domination has inspired awe over the last two decades but at the same time has drawn brickbats when things have gone awry. It is all too easy to build something up only to knock it down.

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