Silver circle tarnished as financials slide

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  • These firms are second-rate compared to the magic circle. They all jumped into private equity without any hedge and it's all gone wrong.

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  • Thank you for that invaluable insight., though I do worry whether the partners from the second rate silver circle firms will be able to sleep at night after your stinging criticism.

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  • Ok, Macfarlanes has a considerably higher PEP figure than CC, so the above comment is not entirely correct. Secondly, had it not been for the depreciation of the sterling in relation to the euro many of the MC would not have posted such positive results. These record figures we are seeing are not necessarily a reflection of increased work/quality at the MC, just a fortunate bonus from having an international network.

    Many of the silver circle firms did specialise in private equity but the fact that they are all still posting quite reasonable PEPs suggests that they are viable businesses.

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  • Second rate? What on earth is your point here.

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  • More brass circle than silver circle then?

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  • Playfootsieforme: what on Earth are you talking about - "without any hedge"? It is hardly as though the Magic Circle have faired any better on their PEP results.

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  • Many of these firms have announced lower drops in turnover than might be expected given the decline in economic activity.

    A drop of only 20% seems low for Travers given that they had a private equity concentration.

    It would be interesting to see the breakdown in turnover of the first and second half of the financial year. Assuming things tailed off I would expect further declines next year.

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  • He's probably talking about their offices, they'd be better off with a hedge rather than a wall or fence.

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  • From the vitriol of the comments on lack of quality - made by associates trainees and partners made redundant from the Magic Circle -- I am far from sure that the Silver Circle have second rate lawyers.
    To me the SC bring their brains to work - not their egos and the transactions are all the better for it .

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  • Has Herbert Smith announced its PEP results?

    If the definition of the "silver circle" is a set of firms with considerably higher PEP figures than their competitors, can BLP/Travers still be considered part of this group?

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  • Maybe I should have been a bit more tactful. Doesn't change the fact that, now that all the leveraged nonsense of the last few years has dried up, the gap in quality between the magic circle and the silver circle is really starting to show.

    And I haven't been made redundant from my MC job. No point starting ad hominem attacks. I might as well declare all the posters who have replied to my post to be chip-on-shoulder MC castoffs now working at silver circle firms.

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  • I guess SJ Berwin just exited the Silver Circle for the rubber ring.

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  • Surely that means that BLP and Travers are to go too? Does this mean that Stephenson Harwood and DLA are now "silver circle"?

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  • The term "silver circle" was dreamt up by some journalist who no doubt thought he/she was being creative when I suspect the reality was much more a seemingly inexhaustible need to pigeon hole things into neat boxes. The phrase is meaningless, has no definition, no basis and I cringe everytime I hear it used. "Magic circle" fine - it's understood and accepted (except by Herbert Smith I suspect) as the UK law firm elite in the same way that the charmed circle is in the US. Once people get their head around that we can move on from this pointless debate about membership criteria.

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  • When will people stop saying that Herbert Smith is anywhere near the magic circle? They're nothing like the real MC firms. They're about half the size for a start.

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