2006 was undisputedly the year of the corporate and commercial law firm. M&A continued to boom, while private equity houses battled to outdo each other for the title of ‘largest fund’.
City firms, and in particular the magic circle, profited from record revenues – Clifford Chance broke the £1bn mark, pipping Linklaters‘ figure of £935m – and as a result hogged many of The Lawyer’s headlines.
However, it was not all good news for the magic circle. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer battled to stay in the revenue race by targeting increased profitability with a radical partner de-equitisation programme, while Allen & Overy‘s merger approach to Freshfields was knocked back as the former lost ground on its magic circle rivals.
Here The Lawyer reflects on the key market-defining stories of the year.