UK 200 position: 36
An expansive year for Osborne Clarke saw it merge with its Spanish and Italian alliance partners and dismantle its European alliance network. The strategic moves mean overall turnover is set to hit the €140m (£110m) mark during the 2012–13 financial year. In the meantime, the firm’s pre-merger revenue jumped 9 per cent from £90.3m in 2010–11 to £98.2m in 2011–12, representing what the firm says is its largest-ever income figure.
2012 wasn't without its setbacks. In November 2012 the firm announced that merger talks with Field Fisher Waterhouse had been called off after the two firms failed to agree a £200m combination.
The double merger with Osborne Clarke Spain and SLA Studio Legale Associato in March 2012, however, was the start of what was expected to be a string of deals across the Continent for a predominantly UK firm that says it realised it needed to be an international business. It has also loosened its formal ties with Belgium’s De Wolf & Partners, the Netherlands’ Ploum Lodder Princen and French firm Stehlin & Associe´s, all of whom were offered the merger option.
The next moves on the agenda are an Eastern European merger and a Paris opening, both of which are likely at some point in 2013–14. Whether the firm will add to its Silicon Valley representative office for clinching US technology clients is another issue to watch.
The wave of consolidation led to a European management shake-up under CEO and managing partner Simon Beswick. It scrapped its alliance board in favour of an international board, with Beswick, German managing partner Stefan Rizor, Spanish head Nuria Martin, Italy head Riccardo Roversi and Reading-based head of markets Greg Leyshon all sitting on the new committee. The council’s decisions will be ratified by an international council chaired by Spain senior partner Tomas Daga.
Analysis from The Lawyer
A strong link between firms and colleges makes the city a good place to forge a legal career
Overview1 London Wall
Total lawyers: 378