Linklaters is UK’s biggest firm after edging past Freshfields

Linklaters has become the largest UK firm by revenue, posting £1.3bn for the 2008-09 financial year and beating Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer by just £11m.

However, the firm’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) dropped by 9.6 per cent to £1.3m, and remained behind that of its magic circle rival.

Freshfields announced its financial results yesterday, with revenue rising nine per cent to £1.29bn and PEP staying steady at £1.44m (2 July 2009).

Linklaters’ turnover rose by less than one per cent this year in a challenging period for the firm that saw it dramatically shrink its partnership and make some 200 lawyers and 200 support staff redundant (23 January 2009).

However, the firm has benefited from a number of important mandates, including advising the administrators of stricken US bank Lehman Brothers and acting for Lloyds on its takeover of HBOS and subsequent government bailout.

Linklaters managing partner Simon Davies (pictured) said: “Our results reflect exceptional circumstances. Clients have turned to us in the crisis to resolve issues of great magnitude and complexity. Often we’ve fielded substantial teams from many jurisdictions and with expertise in many areas of law.”

The firm’s average profit for all partners, including salaried partners, fell by eight per cent this year to £1.056m.