The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 is the only research report to provide a ranking of the top 100 independent local firms and top 50 global firms in the region. The report offers critical review of some of the fastest growing firms and their strategies, a country-by-country guide to leading legal advisers and legal services market trends, plus exclusive insight into the current business development opportunities in the Asia Pacific. 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.
How strong is the financial management in your firm? Find out in The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report 2006 - the most comprehensive financial analysis of the legal sector, and out today (4 September). As you may imagine, a benchmarking exercise of this magnitude takes months of research. It's a big read.
The findings show a profession at the top of its game. What's more, the possibility of accessing external capital through flotation has helped concentrate everyone's minds. This year we're adding a twist of pepper to this soup of stats; we're saying outright which firms we would invest in.
We looked at a combination of factors: financial performance over the past few years, the quality of the management team, market positioning in core business areas and sustainable growth. Note: we're not rating the intellectual talent in the law firms. Neither are we rating the happiness of the workforce. This is a money thing.
We recommend buying shares in Linklaters, now challenging Slaughter and May for the highest-paid partners in the City, and buying Freshfields also, whose net profit of £433m makes it the UK's most profitable firm despite its current restructuring.
As for Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy (A&O): hold. Clifford Chance has benefited from cross-border M&A and its profit has bounced back after David Childs' £40m cost-trimming, but it will need weight on the top line this year. A&O's malaise is not terminal, but its unconvincing international strategy has let it lag behind in key global markets.
Investors ought to pile into Ashurst; prospects are strong there. Top tips for a bull market punt are Travers Smith and Dickson Minto, but Alistair Dickson's own pessimism about the medium-term performance of private equity rather tempers our enthusiasm for poorly hedged outfits.
And which firms get sell recommendations? There are a lot fewer of them. Hammonds, obviously, but other firms with limited growth prospects include Norton Rose, Salans, Hill Dickinson, Charles Russell and an alarming number of regional practices, particularly Cobbetts.
Share-tipping is by its nature inexact and impressionistic, and this is simply a bit of fun. And yes, you can check whether we're right this time next year.