UK firms soar into top 10 list

SLAUGHTER and May and Freshfields have soared into the list of the world's top 10 law firms.

Last year Slaughters had 581 fee earners and was the world's 18th largest firm, according to International Financial Law Review.

This year the publication reports that the firm has 692 and is ninth in the table. Freshfields increased its fee earner numbers from 592 to 707, moving the firm from 17th to eighth in the table.

Baker & McKenzie tops the list again with 1,774 fee earners, but is being chased by Clifford Chance, which eased away from the third-placed firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue to take its fee earner total to 1,451 from 1,171.

There are now five UK firms in the top 10 compared to just three last year.

Eversheds, fifth last year and sixth this year, was overtaken by Linklaters & Paines, which moved up to fifth from seventh.

Allen & Overy also did well, moving up four places to 17th, but those UK firms towards the bottom of the top 40 – Simmons & Simmons, Norton Rose and Herbert Smith, all slipped slightly.

Successful US firms included Latham & Watkins, up seven places to 20th, White & Case, up six to 27th, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, up six to 34th.