Accountancy-tied firms slump in French revenues survey

French international Gide Loyrette Nouel has leapfrogged accountancy-tied firm Ernst & Young Societé d’Avocats (E&Y, formerly EY Law) to become France’s second-biggest firm by revenues.

Gide’s French turnover rose from 116.1m euros in 2003 to 125.6m euros for the calendar year 2004, according to research released by French legal magazine Juristes Associés.

E&Y’s income dropped by a massive 35 per cent to 114m, pushing it into third place.

Fidal remains France’s biggest law firm, employing 1,372 fee-earners and making 250m euros in 2004. The former KLegal member is the only one of the “Big Four” accountancy firms to have survived the French crackdown on services to audit clients.

Both Landwell & Associés and Taj (previously Deloitte) slipped down the table with turnover slumps.

However other firms performed well, particularly CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre, where turnover rose 10 per cent to hit 108.5m euros.

Clifford Chance’s Paris office closed the gap on Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, making 89m euros compared to Freshfields’ 89.1m.

French independents remain the most successful in terms of revenue per fee-earner.

Darrois Villey Maillot & Brochier’s 34 lawyers each brought in over 1m euros, with Bredin Prat’s 52 fee-earners not far behind on 900,000 euros each.