UK and US firms among top fee earners in Paris

US and UK law firms working in Paris account for 15 per cent of the total fees brought in by France's 125 biggest practices, according to a new survey.

The highest grossing Anglo-Saxon firm is Clifford Chance whose Paris office last year brought in FF261m (£26.6m), ranking it seventh in the league table.

Freshfields' office brought in FF201m (£20.5m), placing it ninth. Freshfields income per fee earner was FF2.2m (£224,500), while Clifford Chance reached FF2.1m (£214,300).

The survey was carried out by Juristes Associes, a Paris based newsletter.

Seven of the top 10 law firms by size in France are attached to accountancy firms. Of the total income brought in by the country's biggest players, the law practices attached to the big five accountancy firms brought in 34 per cent of the fees in 1998/99.

Fidal, which is linked to KPMG, was the top earner bringing in FF1,125m (£112.5m). It is also France's biggest law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers.

Gide Loyrette Nouel's balance sheet did not reflect its troubled year in which it lost several key partners.

In terms of income it is France's largest law firm that is not linked to an accountants.

It brought in FF467m (£47.6m) within France and FF584m (£59.6m) globally, placing it third in the table, although it is sixth in size.

Bureau Francis Lefebvre was close behind bringing in FF460m (£46.9m) nationally and FF530m (£54m) internationally.

Provincial firms only accounted for 9 per cent of the top 125's total revenue, while Paris-based French firms brought in 42 per cent.