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Clifford Chance is the first of the magic circlers to announce its financial results for the past year and, while it’s posted reasonably robust figures, it looks like Linklaters could be in with a chance of surpassing it as the UK’s number one firm.
Last year Clifford Chance’s turnover came in at £1.19bn while Linklaters was just a sliver behind on £1.12bn. (What’s £.7bn between friends?).
Eleven per cent growth has seen Clifford Chance bring in a total of £1.33bn over the course of the past year, meaning Linklaters would need to post growth of around 19 per cent to overtake its rival.
And this certainly seems possible. While both firms enjoyed a stonking first half to the year, equally both were hit by the slowdown that came in the wake of the credit crunch.
But while Clifford Chance has been notable for its absence on the deals scene (admittedly, this is a relative absence that is measured against its own incredibly strong track record), for Linklaters there seems to have been no let up.
What with advising Royal Bank of Scotland on a £12bn rights issue, acting for mining giant Kazakhmys on a proposed mega-merger and representing Scottish & Newcastle on its sale to Carlsberg and Heineken, the firm’s had a pretty successful year.
David Childs, Clifford Chance’s global managing partner, reckons his firm’s transactional lawyers have been pretty busy too, though its deals must have been for lower profile clients.
Clifford Chance’s average PEP came in at £1.15m this year, the same level that Linklaters achieved a year ago. With stats like that, the Silk Street firm could well take Clifford Chance’s crown.
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27-June-2008, Hill Dickinson: A tale of two cities
20-June-2008, LG: “frustrating and disappointing”
13-June-2008, Trowers & Hamlins: set back, or de-railed?
12-June-2008, Stephenson Hardwood: joining the club
11-June-2008, Ward Hadaway, Leeds and Hoyle: the long game
10-June-2008, Lewis Silkin: credit where due?
09-June-2008, Freshfields: equity cull pays off
06-June-2008, Martineau Johnson: mission accomplished?
05-June-2008, Addleshaw Goddard: babies and bathwater
04-June-2008, Technology firms: RPP reveals all
02-June-2008, The magic circle – a new ring leader to emerge?
30-May-2008, Berwin Leighton Paisner: could do better
29-May-2008, Links to take CC’s crown?
28-May-2008, FFW: surprise performer
22-May-2008, Herbert Smith lays down the gauntlet
19-May-2008, Second tier is out to impress