Top 50 disputes firms bill a record $29bn

The world’s 50-largest litigation practices generated a record level of fee income over the past year, research by The Lawyer has found.

Total turnover grew by 3 per cent from $28.18bn to $29.02bn, a new record, during the most recent full financial year at the biggest global practices.

The total number of lawyers generating that $29bn ­has also continued to rise, up by 2.4 per cent from 31,322 to 32,082. The total number of partners across all 50 firms in the ranking rose by just 1.5 per cent, from 9715 to 9853.

This is the fifth year in a row that total turnover across the top 50 firms, all of which are headquartered in either the US or UK, has increased. Since 2012, total litigation revenues generated by litigation and arbitration from the Global Litigation 50 has grown by 19.5 per cent.

In contrast, over the same five-year period the total number of lawyers generating that revenue has grown by just 14.3 per cent while the total number of partners across the top 50 is up by 13 per cent.

The data suggests that the world’s leading firms may be becoming increasingly efficient at delivering their disputes services, generating a higher level of revenue each year with fewer lawyers.

The use of new technology to deliver these services is the theme of this year’s report, which has been produced in association with FTI Consulting. The full report focuses on the rise of technology across all stages of the litigation process and analyses in detail how the world’s leading law firms are utilising new technology to deliver services to clients.

For more information on the content of the Global Litigation 50, including the results of the client survey, please contact Matt Byrne on +44 207 970 4558. To purchase the full report please contact Gilberto Esgaio on +44 207 970 4191 or Letitia Austin on +44 207 970 4662