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The competition in the legal industry is tough and cutthroat. There is no doubt about that. Given that, it is not an easy feat for a law firm to stay afloat for years, not to mention, stay at the top of your game.quality legal service.

It takes a lot of strategizing, planning, and of course, perfect execution. A firm has to have good lawyers, partners and legal staff that would deliver high 

In this regard, certain law firms and companies have established a good name, reputation and track record that have placed them at the top of the industry through the years. In the United Kingdom, this is known as the Magic Circle law firms.


The Magic Circle Law Firms


The Magic Circle of the legal industry consists of the top five law firms which have their headquarters in the United Kingdom. These are considered to be the crème de la crème of the legal profession in the country. They are known to be an elite group made up of the most prestigious British law firms in practice.


This is the composition of the Circle:


  • Allen & Overy

  • Clifford Chance

  • Linklaters

  • Slaughter & May

  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


A check on their performance


One common factor among the members of the Magic Circle is that they hold the record for having the highest earnings for every lawyer, as well as every partner. For this year, the members of the Magic Circle have generally recorded an increase in their revenues and profits. But there are certain exemptions.


Two of the members, namely Allen & Overy as well as Clifford Chance, have recorded a solid growth in terms of their revenue and profitability. These two firms are known for their distinguished work in banking advisory. On the contrary, the other two members which are Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have more restrained results.


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in particular, is actually the sole member of the Magic Circle which recorded a fall in its revenues and profits. Nonetheless, it has still retained its reputation for being the law firm with partners earning the highest income on average. Here, the average per equity partner or PEP was just a little short of the £1.3 million even after a dip of 1 percent. The PEP is known to be an important tool for recruitment in the legal industry.


On the other hand, Clifford Chance recorded the biggest revenue of all the members of the Magic Circle law firms. It also has the healthiest performance in revenues, profits and PEP which are up by 7%. Historically, this law firm had a reputation for having the lower PEP compared to other law firms. But with the growth in its profitability, its PEP is rumoured to be closer to that offered by the Allen & Overy which is pegged at £1.1 million.


As for Linklaters, it has been focusing more on litigation practice. The managing partner of the firm has already declared that he wanted to raise the litigation contribution to the revenues by as much as 50% in the next five years. 

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