Slaughter and May has ousted Freshfields from the number one slot of a poll of treasurers at the top 500 companies.
The survey, conducted by Chartered Banker magazine, sent a questionnaire to the treasurers of non-financial services companies in the top 500 companies by capital employed, listed in the 1997 edition of the Times 1000, asking who was their preferred legal adviser.
It found that more non-financial services companies used Slaughters than any other firm, with Linklaters coming second and Herbert Smith third. Freshfields, last year's number one, has dropped to fourth while Allen & Overy, Nabarro Nathanson and Simmons & Simmons came equal fifth.
Nabarro Nathanson's relatively high ranking and Clifford Chance's absence from the top five probably partly reflects the fact that non-financial service companies were surveyed.
In a more comprehensive survey late last year, carried out by Corporate Counsel magazine, of the FTSE 250 companies (70 per cent of whom responded), Nabarros came only joint fourteenth and Clifford Chance fourth.
But Nabarros said its position in the Chartered Banker survey 'reinforces the growing strength of its corporate practice which in 1997 has seen one of its best-ever years'.