B&M’s Paris turnover elevates it into top ten

A 36 per cent surge in Paris turnover has thrust Baker & McKenzie (B&M) into France’s top 10 law firms for the first time.

According to research by Juristes Associés, B&M’s French income rose from €39.7m (£27.2m) in 2002 to €54m (£36.9m) in 2003, bucking the trend in a generally unprofitable year and moving it into the French top 10.

Eric Lasry, B&M’s French managing partner, said the firm had been particularly strong in tax and M&A work, but also in making efforts to promote itself in the market.

He added: “It was a good year, but there’s still a lot to achieve.”

Linklaters was the best-performing UK law firm in France, posting a 12.6 per cent hike in turnover to €66.8m (£45.7m), while income at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer dropped by 9 per cent to €91m (£62.2m). At Clifford Chance, turnover remained virtually static, up just 1.1 per cent to €85.6m (£58.6m).

Taj, formerly the legal arm of Deloitte & Touche, also had a superb year with an income rise of 41.9 per cent, following a 20 per cent cull of fee-earners.

Fidal, another former accountancy-tied firm, remained top of the table following a static year. Chairman Jean-Louis Paul said he was concentrating on developing international work and rebuilding international partnerships following the break-up of KLegal.

But Paul also expressed dismay at the overall financial climate in France, adding: “I’d prefer to have this success in a competitive market.”

Click here to view table: ‘Top 10 firms in France by turnover 2002-03’