Linklaters’ Simon Davies on why the magic circle may have lost its power

In this week’s leadership interview, Linklaters managing partner Simon Davies talks about a magic circle branding crisis, saying that the name no longer holds a spell over the US market – or in fact any market at all.

Davies argues that this identity crisis has not affected Linklaters, as the firm sees itself as “one of the leading global law firms, not one of the leading magic circle firms”.

Linklaters is set for change, as partners came together this week in the first bi-annual partner meeting in six years. The meeting voted on streamlining its international board, which could lead to reduction of the seats or change in function.

Linklaters may break its lockstep to sharpen its strategy on building up its US practice. US co-managing partner Jeff Norton stood down earlier this month, leaving Conrad Tenaglia as sole US managing partner.

Despite rival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s aggressive expansion of its US presence earlier this year, Davies believes that with Linklaters’ focus towards cross border US law provisions and a strategy that targets Fortune 500 clients, US work is for the taking.

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