US firms make headway in Paris against UK and domestic rivals

US FIRMS in Paris are gaining ground on their UK and French rivals, with White & Case and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton posting turnover increases of more than 20 per cent.

In the past financial year White & Case boosted its revenue by 23.5 per cent to hit €65.9m (£44.58m) and Cleary by 20 per cent to reach €70m (£47.35m), according to figures compiled by French legal magazine Juristes Associés.

Meanwhile, Latham & Watkins saw turnover rise by 15 per cent. The firms took advantage of mixed fortunes for the French big-hitters in the Paris market.

French leader Fidal grew by just 4 per cent to €275.7m (£186.49m), while Gide Loyrette Nouel made €144.6m (£97.81m) after growing by 11 per cent. Rival Veil Jourde saw turnover drop by almost 7 per cent after multiple partner raids from growing US practices Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, which posted respective rises of 23 per cent and 28 per cent. Not all French firms had a mediocre year, though.

Slaughter and May best friend Bredin Prat recorded the biggest increase in the top 30, increasing its revenue by a third to €60m (£40.58m).

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier recovered from a 9 per cent fall in turnover in 2005, recording a 27 per cent increase this year to reach €42m (£28.41m).

UK firms put in solid performances. Magic circle rivals Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters increased turnover by between 7 and 10 per cent, with Allen & Overy growing by 14.5 per cent.

Lovells was one of the few UK firms not to grow in Paris, with a revenue fall of 4.5 per cent to €33.3m (£22.52m).

Meanwhile, Herbert Smith enjoyed a 27 per cent boost to break the €30m (£20.29m) turnover mark, buoyed by arbitration work for Eurotunnel.

The restructuring also bolstered dispute resolution boutique and Eurotunnel adviser Foucaud Tchekhoff Pochet & Associé, which grew by almost 44 per cent to €13.2m (£8.93m).