We all know that Biglaw firms in America did well — really, really well — in 2021, but what about their Biglaw counterparts across the pond in the United Kingdom? How did they fare when it came to their financial metrics? Thankfully, the latest edition of the UK Top 50 is out, which measures gross revenue, revenue per lawyer, and profits per equity partner, just like the Am Law 100.
Collectively, as noted by Law.com International’s Hannah Walker in her summary of the data, the UK Top 50 achieved their strongest increase in total revenue since the Great Recession, up by 10.9% (compare this with 2020’s numbers, where average total revenue was up 5.9%); a 2.8% increase in average revenue per lawyer (£406,100); and a 7.7% increase in profits per equity partner (£939,600). Here are more details on the positive results from the UK:
Almost half—19 firms—posted double digit revenue increases, compared with 11 in the previous year. Only four firms posted a fall in revenue, compared with 10 in the previous year.
However the U.K. firms’ growth lags that of their U.S. counterparts, with the Am Law 100 recording a collective revenue growth of 14.8% for 2021, led by Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins.
The turnover increase did not translate into such a significant rise in average profit per equity partner across the firms, as they grappled to keep costs under control amid a rampant pay war for junior talent.
Without further ado, here are the Top 10 firms in the UK by gross revenue:
- Clifford Chance: £1,970.0 million
- Allen & Overy: £1,942.0
- Linklaters: £1,782.8
- Freshfields: £1,701.0
- CMS: £1,500.9
- Herbert Smith Freehills: £1,103.0
- Eversheds Sutherland: £1,089.9
- Clyde & Co: £650.0
- Slaughter and May: £551.3
- Pinsent Masons: £531.1
Click here to see the rest of the UK Top 50. Congratulations!
Among UK Top 50 Law Firms, Revenue Surges Despite Challenges [Law.com International]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.