The Lawyer published a bumper edition including an executive summary of The Lawyer UK 200 Annual Report 2013 in association with KPMG, in which we reveal the financial rankings for the top 200 law firms in the UK, the top 30 international firms and the top 30 barristers’ chambers. To purchase access to the full report visit www.thelawyer.com/uk200 or contact Daniela Badcock on +44 (0) 207 970 4582
The shape of the UK 200 continues to shift as we respond to developments in the market. Next year Greenwoods, Manches, and very possibly Pannone will have been swallowed up. SJ Berwin won’t be there either, since its deal with King & Wood Mallesons transplants it into the international table, much as RJW moved out of the domestic rankings once it was subsumed by Australia-headquartered Slater & Gordon.
Revenue per lawyer (RPL) is dipping only slightly across the board. However, RPL, the most reliable of metrics in the days when all law firms looked the same, is being compromised by the rise in the number of paralegals and other fee-earners – not just at volume firms but across the sector. Average revenue per fee-earner may well yield clearer comparisons in a couple of years.
PEP has largely held up. Despite pressures on pricing, law firms’ creative organisational solutions have managed to keep earnings high. This is why The Lawyer focuses so strongly on operational issues – get those right and the financial benefits are obvious. The UK 200 contains granular detail on occupancy costs and revenue per square foot, cost and profit per lawyer and per fee-earner, days to profit, work-in-progress, debtor days and total lockup, as well as the traditional PEP and more equitable earnings per equity partner. Oh, and total turnover too.
But the biggest change is in how we are delivering this mountain of information. In previous years we’ve published enormous hard-copy supplements, but we’ve responded to your feedback and embraced interactivity. On www.thelawyer.com from today and for the first time ever you’ll be able to use a tool to benchmark your firm against its peers on a series of metrics of your choice. (One of the many benefits of this is the way it graphically highlights disparity in business models.) You can buy access to the full product, which also includes detailed commentaries on all 200 firms’ financial strategies, by going to www.thelawyer.com/uk200. Or try a taster on the free-to-air version, where you can benchmark your firm on PEP, revenue and total lawyers. If you want a guide to where you feature in the market, this is the place to go.