Law firms see 5% increase in fee revenue, beating economy, Deloitte says

Britain's 100 biggest law firms increased their quarterly revenue by an average of 5 percent amid continued "uncertainty" about the economy, according to a survey.

The "modest" boost was due to higher rates and more billable hours over the three-month period that ended July 31, compared with a year earlier, accounting firm Deloitte LLP said in a statement. The U.K.'s 10 biggest firms, including the top- five "Magic Circle" firms led by Clifford Chance LLP, had smaller average increases of 3.7 percent, Deloitte said.

"The general uncertainty over the economy means that for many firms there is a considerable degree of nervousness as to how the rest of the year will pan out," Jeremy Black, a partner at Deloitte in London, said in the statement.

London's biggest firms have faced a decline in business over the past year as the volume of buyouts and mergers fell 32 percent in 2009 and remained at a low level this year, according to Bloomberg data. Annual earnings reported in July by the law firms showed London's largest firms suffered revenue declines of as much as 11 percent.

Clifford Chance regained its spot as the highest-grossing U.K. law firm, even as its revenue fell 5 percent to 1.197 billion pounds ($1.88 billion) for the fiscal year ended April 30, according to data released by the firm. Linklaters LLP was second with 1.18 billion pounds, after an 8.8 percent decline from the prior year.

(Published by Bloomberg - September 22, 2010)

latest top stories

subscribe |  contact us |  sponsors |  migalhas in portuguese |  migalhas latinoamérica