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.
Proskauer's negotiations with Richards Butler were at the most advanced stage, but floundered because the figures did not add up. The Wall Street firm's average profit per equity partner (PEP) of just over $1.1m (£610,000) puts it among the most prosperous of the group, but also makes it one of the most difficult to merge with. The others all have PEP figures more equitable to those of the mid-tier City players being targeted.
Heller Ehrman's international strategy partner Paul Downs echoed the sentiments of his peers when he told The Lawyer: "There's an attraction to doing a combination - you get to a critical mass quickly. But there aren't a lot of prospective partners because London's just not as big a legal market as New York."
Seventy of the AmLaw 100 firms now have some kind of presence in London, but the models that these firms are seeking to emulate are those of Jones Day (Gouldens), Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw and Reed Smith (Warner Cranston).
As the chairman of another of the US firms put it bluntly: "We don't want a 'one man and his dog' operation."
Of those already in London, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has made no secret of its desire to merge there. Following Pillsbury's absorption of Shaw Pittman, chair Mary Cranston is again focusing on the UK capital.
2004 breakdown of US firms seeking UK mergers
Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe
Ropes & Gray
2004 revenue $m (£m)
2004 PEP $K (£K)
No of lawyers
No of equity partners
Key practice areas
IP, employment, life sciences, technology
Technology, private equity, real estate, litigation, competition
Corporate finance, IP, litigation, private equity, mass torts, technology