CC retains City finance title

Clifford Chance has upped its market share of the global finance market after a year of recovery.

Research for The Lawyer UK 100 underlines a year of mixed fortunes for finance groups across the City, as the mega-restructuring mandates dried up – for the most part, at least.

Clifford Chance, though, was the exception with its mammoth restructuring of British Energy, although most of that bill would have gone to the firm’s corporate group.

Clifford Chance had its best year in banking since 2002, with a 12 per cent revenue surge to £223m. The capital markets group grossed £118m.

In total, Clifford Chance’s finance practice, which includes both banking and capital markets, kept its top spot by seeing its turnover rise 8.5 per cent to £344m.

Second-ranked Allen & Overy did not have such a successful year, with a total revenue of £285m.

Banking turned over £180m – a drop from £190m the previous year. Capital markets revenues held steady at £105m, despite a number of partner departures.

Linklaters increased its market share with a revenue rise of 11.8 per cent to £257.6m, thanks in part to a strong performance by the capital markets team – and closing the gap on Allen & Overy.

After promising growth in 2003-04, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer‘s fin-ance department actually dropped in turnover, from £160m to £148m – a disappointing end to Simon Hall’s stalwart tenure as finance head and something that his replacement Perry Noble will have to address.

Lovells, Norton Rose and Simmons & Simmons all held steady behind the top four. Lovells’ turnover barely moved, rising only 2 per cent to just under £100m, but new head of finance David Hudd has a year to remedy this.

Ashurst scored double-digit growth once again, rising 12 per cent to £44.2m, with the twin engines of leveraged finance and collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) delivering results for the firm.

Top 10 UK firms for finance*
Rank Firm Finance turnover (£m) % of total turnover No of finance partners Revenue per finance partner (£K)
1 Clifford Chance 344.0 37.5 181 1,900
2 Allen & Overy 285.0 42.0 178 1,601
3 Linklaters 257.6 32.0 184 1,400
4 Freshfields 148.0 19.0 105 1,409
5 Lovells 99.8 27.0 68 1,470
6 Norton Rose 77.0 37.0 69 1,116
7 Simmons & Simmons 52.9 27.0 50 1,058
8 Ashurst 44.2 22.0 25 1,768
9 Berwin Leighton Paisner 43.5 23.0 36 1,208
10 Denton Wilde Sapte 42.1 27.0 42 1,002


*finance includes banking, projects and capital markets
Source: The Lawyer