The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... 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.
Total no of fee-earners (including consultants, paralegals etc): 3,585
Total no of fee-earners (excluding consultants, paralegals etc): 2,684
Total no of staff: 7,445
Leverage ratio: 1:7.29
Equity partner to staff ratio: 1:9.51
Fee-earner to staff ratio: 1:1.08
Financial management: Partners receive a small monthly payment plus, until early 2004, a quarterly profit distribution. This system was meant to align performance with profit pay-out. Before this, profit was distributed on a monthly basis beginning the January after year-end. This left a 21-month gap from the beginning of the financial year and the month when pay-out began. This method hit some snags during 2003-04 because of a number of factors: a slowdown in work, poor cash collection, and the firm's retained funds dipped to £161m, just £1m above the amount required to be kept within the firm according to the covenants connected to its 2002 $150m (£91.46m) private placement. Clifford Chance has now reverted to paying out on a monthly basis. Concerns over the private placement also meant that this year partners were asked to stump up cash to refinance part of its £30m bank facility.
Equity structure: Ten-year lockstep. Partners enter at 10 points and reach plateau at 100 units. A caveat to this is Clifford Chance's US operation on the East Coast, where additional points are available for certain partners in addition to plateau units.
Billable hours targets: None.
Key clients: ABN Amro, Accenture, Barclays, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, EADS, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, KKR, Royal Bank of Scotland, Siemens, Swiss Life, Telefonica.