Appleby has overtaken Maples and Calder as the world’s largest offshore firm by partner numbers thanks to its October 2009 merger with the Isle of Man’s Dickinson Cruickshank.
The Lawyer’s annual offshore survey reveals that the merger saw the firm’s headcount leap to 74 partners and 207 lawyers. By comparison, Maples’ headcount has remained static at 62 partners, the same number as a year earlier.
Appleby’s growing partnership reflects its aggressive expansion strategy, which has seen it grow from seven offices in 2006 to 11 in 2010, with a further office set to open in Guernsey this year.
The survey reveals how consolidation is changing the shape of the market. Three firms are vying for fifth place with 33 partners, but with the announced merger between Mourant du Feu & Jeune and Ozannes forming a firm with more than 50 partners when it goes live in May, and with more consolidation expected in 2010, breakaway firms are appearing.