Linklaters spends second year as corporate top dog

Linklaters has emerged as the top corporate practice by turnover for the second year in a row.

Linklaters spends second year as corporate top dog” />As first reported in Lawyer News Weekly last Wednesday (3 August), global revenue at the magic circle firm’s corporate group, led by David Barnes, jumped by 11.8 per cent from £288m to £322m in 2004-05.

Meanwhile, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Lovells were the only two firms in the top 10 to post a drop in corporate revenue in the last financial year. Freshfields’ global corporate turnover slumped by £7m to £258m, putting it in joint second place with magic circle rival Allen & Overy (A&O).

A&O’s corporate practice, which recorded a net loss of £10m in 2003-04, rebounded to post a 7 per cent hike in billings. Indeed, during the course of the last financial year, the magic circle firm landed a handful of corporate mandates, including advising US sports tycoon Malcolm Glazer on his successful bid for Manchester United Football Club.

Lovells’ global corporate turnover dipped by 5 per cent from £113.1m to £107m, resulting in the firm being overtaken by Herbert Smith, which reported a 17.7 per cent increase in billings to £108.6m – the biggest rise in the top 10. Lovells’ drop in corporate turnover is mostly down to the firm’s mainstream corporate practice, which is understood to have had a very disappointing 12 months.

Meanwhile, Slaughter and May, which posted a 14.7 per cent rise in corporate turnover, now boasts a revenue per partner (RPP) of £2.68m in corporate. That is almost £1m higher than Linklaters’ RPP, which ranks in second place at £1.75m. A&O and Fresh-fields ranked third and fourth with RPP of £1.74m and £1.56m respectively.

Top 10 corporate UK firms
Rank Firm Global corporate turnover (£m) % of total turnover No of corporate partners Rev per corporate partner (£m)
1 Linklaters* 322.0 40 184 1.75
2 Freshfields 258.0 33 165 1.56
2= Allen & Overy* 258.0 38 148 1.74
4 Clifford Chance 228.7 25 153 1.49
5 Slaughter and May 147.9 51 55 2.68
6 Lovells 107.0 29 118 0.91
7 Herbert Smith** 108.6 41 95 1.14
8 Simmons & Simmons* 76.4 39 84 0.91
9 Norton Rose 71.4 34 71 1.00
10 Eversheds 71.2 22 80 1.12
Source: The Lawyer
* Includes commercial
** Includes non-contentious antitrust