The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Allen & Overy (A&O) plateau partners are the richest in the City, with profits of £1.05m - overtaking Slaughter and May for the first time. A&O's figures are skewed by its exceptionally long 15-year lockstep, but the firm still posted a slight decline in its average profits per equity partner this year of £675,000 - down from £685,000. Lovells and Linklaters plateau partners will have been among the happiest in the City. They saw a rise of 3.8 and 7.1 per cent respectively. Linklaters, which had fallen behind Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer last year, claims to have clawed back profitability due to a strong performance in its finance department. Clifford Chance plateau partners have seen a decline, from £815,000 to £734,000, or 9.9 per cent - the second biggest drop in the top 10 after Simmons & Simmons. However, Clifford Chance could boost top partners' profits in key juris-dictions such as the US if recommendations from the compensation review com-mittee are endorsed by the partnership. The firm is considering the option of setting aside 600 extra points in 50-unit chunks, effectively allowing up to 12 partners to be remunerated according to local norms. On the current 100-point lockstep, a 150-point Clifford Chance partner could therefore make up to £1.1m - a figure more in line with New York pay. Most of the firms in the table operate relatively traditional lockstep or modified lockstep. However, DLA - the most conspicuous challenger for top 10 status - has a small equity partnership with a merit-based profit share-out, meaning that the spread between top and bottom is higher. In the last financial year the spread at DLA allowed top equity partners to earn £860,000, compared with £240,000 at the bottom.