Magic circle fails to dent Spanish fliers

London’s magic circle has profited from a buoyant legal market in Spain, but is still a long way from challenging Madrid’s local elite.

This year Garrigues strengthened its position as Spain’s largest law firm, growing by 10 per cent to record a revenue of €193m (£133.7m) for the year.

Clifford Chance was the UK’s top representative in Spain. Its 21-partner operation grew by 13 per cent to send €54m (£37.4m) back home, according to the latest figures from Spanish newspaper Expansión.

Overall, the Spanish legal market grew by an average of 13.7 per cent, almost four times more quickly than the national economy.

But Allen & Overy (A&O), DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary and Linklaters all recorded turnover increases well beyond the market average.

The 10 partners at Linklaters mustered a 22.7 per cent rise to €20m (£13.9m), while A&O broke the €10m (£6.9m) barrier after 23.8 per cent growth for the year.

DLA Piper just pipped them, reaching €11m (£7.6m), representing a 19 per cent increase on last year.

Trying desperately to close the gap at the top are Cuatrecasas and Slaughter and May best friend Uría Menéndez. However, with 185 partners and more than 1,500 lawyers, Garrigues is still by far the largest firm in terms of its number of lawyers.

Cuatrecasas grew faster than any other leading Spanish firm, posting a 19 per cent rise in turnover to reach €159m (£110.2m) for the year.

Uría chased it with a 18.6 per cent increase, billing €119m (£82.5m) for the year.

The top-placed US firm is Baker & McKenzie, which posted 7.6 per cent growth and a €43.5m (£30.2m) turnover.

The next largest US operation belongs to Jones Day, whose five partners billed €8.4m (£5.8m).