Linklaters curtails client base to focus attention on major players

<a class=Linklaters curtails client base to focus attention on major players” />Linklaters is in the process of slashing its client base in an attempt to reduce conflicts and focus its ­business solely on large global entities.

Managing partner Simon Davies, who is leading the project, carried out a similar exercise at the beginning of the decade when he was head of the Asia practice.

He told The Lawyer: “Over the last 12 months we’ve been reducing our client base to focus on the leaders ;of ;today, ;and ­particularly on the leaders of tomorrow. Partners have several client relationships, so with fewer clients they can be more focused.”

A source at the firm said that over the past 18 months the firm’s client base had been slashed from 11,000 to 6,000, with the expectation that the list will number 3,000 by this time next year.

The source added that the clients that had already been cut were those that either generated less than £50,000 in fees each year or were only occasional users of the firm’s services. The firm will also get rid of small clients that conflict it out of acting for larger players.

Linklaters took a hit ­earlier this year when it was axed from major banking client JPMorgan’s panel.

Davies said that, although he was seeking to focus the firm’s client list on a smaller number of larger clients, he was keen to maintain a broad spread to avoid the potential impact of losing major fee-payers.

“We want to maintain good diversity by sector, practice and geography,” he said.