Our 2023 Legal Business 100 report finds law firm leaders in unusually pensive mood with the inevitable end to the transactional bull run. How will firms adapt to having to change the record?
Key financials of the top 100 firms
After an uncharacteristically muted performance last year, the LB100’s longstanding pacesetters – firms in the 26-50 quartile – find that lightning can strike twice. What will it take for the group to rebound?
A diverse mix of specialist boutiques and full-service firms, the London mid-market players are struggling to prove which strategy works in competitive conditions
Consolidation is rife among regional and national firms occupying the second half of the LB100. A sign of things to come?
Firm profile Eversheds Sutherland: ‘Beyond the soundbites’
Firm profile Womble Bond Dickinson: ‘Joining the dots’
gunnercooke: ‘Cooking up a storm?’
Last year’s LB100 report saw firm leaders bullish, overwhelmingly characterising a boom market, even as macroeconomic indicators had started to flash warning signs.
This year, it seems, some of the confidence of stellar recent years has finally started to dwindle. Revenue has continued to grow, though at a slightly slower rate: with turnover up on average 8% across the LB100 table, to a total of £33.77bn. For context, this is one percentage point less than the 9% increase in the group’s top line to £31.35bn recorded in 2022. Continue reading “LB100 – Overview: Here comes the rain again”
This year, 24 London-headquartered and boutique firms can be found in the second half of the LB100, experiencing an average revenue of £57.3m from last year’s £53.4m. This 7% increase almost matches the average revenue growth experienced by the firms across the entire LB100.
Taking a closer look at the breakdowns of the group’s performance tells us that in FY22/23, the average number of lawyers among the City and boutique firms is up by 16% from last year to 207 from 179. However, profit per lawyer for the group is up 4% to reach 2021 levels at £85,000. Continue reading “LB100 – The second 50 – City and boutique: London falling?”
The 26 regional and national firms occupying the 51-100 places in this year’s LB100 come in with an average of 269 lawyers and 33 equity partners, a slight increase on last year. Average revenue increased 5% to £57.5m, three percentage points below the growth rate of the LB100 as a whole. This mirrors last year, where average revenue only increased by 4%, a departure from the 11% and 13% growth rates seen in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
More significantly, our 2023 report also sees a sharp decline in profit per equity (PEP) by 14% to £345,000, in a stark contrast to the 14% growth rate last year and a much heavier dip than that experienced by the LB100 at large. Continue reading “LB100 – The second 50 – Regional view: Coming together”