Editor’s weekly: Clifford Chance rides high again

The start of July coincided with the big boys announcing their year-end results – and as you would expect in such turbulent times there were some surprises thrown in.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the last magic circle firm to unveil its finances, saw its revenue drop by 11 per cent – giving it a global figure of £1.14bn.

Average profit per equity partner (PEP) also fell, although the drop from £1.44m to £1.41m represents a marginal fall of 2.6 per cent year-on-year meaning Freshfields has managed to hold onto its crown as the magic circle firm with the highest PEP (read more).

Saying that, the results see Freshfields fall from second to third place in the ranking of UK firms by turnover, with Clifford Chance, which also released its figures earlier this week, leapfrogging it back into the top spot. What’s more Clifford Chance posted a whopping 25 per cent jump in PEP meaning each partner pocketed £933,000 (read article).

Linklaters, which last year ranked as the biggest UK firm by turnover, has had to settle for second position after its figures dropped off by 8.8 per cent to £1.18bn, while PEP was down 6.88 per cent to £1.21m (read more).

Allen & Overy, the smallest magic circle firm in terms of turnover and PEP, meanwhile, saw its revenue drop by 4 per cent (read more).

If you want to find out more about how the UK’s elite law firms performed during 2009/10 and how they are expected to do in the forthcoming months then keep an eye on Lawyer2B.com and its sister site TheLawyer.com.