Linklaters targets Asia with new three-year plan

Linklaters targets Asia with new three-year plan” />Linklaters is to overhaul its strategic agenda, including reviewing the potential to launch in India and Korea, as the magic circle firm aims to close the revenue gap between itself and Clifford Chance.

Managing partner Tony Angel exclusively told The Lawyer that the executive committee would formally begin revising its strategy in September, with a view to devising a new three-year plan leading up to 2010.

Angel said: “We’re focusing on fast growth in China… and also how to react to the opening up of the legal markets in India and Korea.”

The US will also stay “high on the agenda”, Angel said, with the firm targeting faster growth in New York, which was lagging behind its existing headcount and profitability targets.

Linklaters’ current three-year strategy will end in April after being implemented in 2004. It resulted in the reorganisation of the firm’s practices and partnership after manage- ment faced a backlash from the partnership over falling profit and stagnant revenue.

The new policy also coincides with senior partner-elect David Cheyne’s replacement of incumbent Anthony Cann on 30 September.

Angel said the firm had “made good progress” on the targets set in 2004. In 2005-06 Linklaters achieved its goal of pushing average profit per equi
ty partner above the £1m mark – and £250,000 above Clifford Chance – one year ahead of schedule. But Clifford Chance continues to beat Linklaters in terms of gross revenue, with the latter having failed to crack the £1bn mark.

As a result Linklaters’ new strategy is likely to further “align the whole firm around our target clients”, Angel said, and restructure its expertise along asset classes and client sectors. The review process is expected to take between three and six months, with the finalised strategy to be in place before next year’s partnership promotions and the start of the financial year.