Magic circle fails to impress in The Lawyer CA survey

UK magic circle law firms are failing to make an impact at the Court of Appeal, trailing behind many of their City competitors.

In the first survey of its kind, The Lawyer reveals that only Clifford Chance makes it into the top 10 law firms ranked by the number of appearances.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is in eleventh place, but Slaughter and May and Linklaters & Alliance fall outside the top 20.

Allen & Overy, which made only three appearances between October 1999 and July 2000, is not even ranked.

The results raises questions as to whether the magic circle firms can continue to build a reputation for litigation on the back of their corporate and banking departments.

Herbert Smith and Lovells, which are ranked first and third respectively, confirm the success of their stand-alone litigation departments and add weight to the theory that some magic circle firms have misjudged the game.

Insurance specialists Beachcroft Wansbroughs, Berrymans Lace Mawer and Kennedys all appear in the top five.

This, though, is hardly surprising considering that insurance is one of the biggest areas of litigation. In fact, most of the big insurance firms make an appearance on the table, which makes the absence of Clyde & Co all the more conspicuous.

Finally, the survey reveals the rise of DLA and Pinsent Curtis Biddle. Neither firm is well known for their litigation practices, but both appear to be making their mark.

For the full story, see The Lawyer Court of Appeal 2000 survey on p24