11:14, September 11 116 0

2017-09-11 11:14:07
Top 200 UK firms grow revenue to record £23.5bn

The total revenue of the UK’s 200 largest law firms grew to a record £23.46bn, The Lawyer‘s latest data reveals.

Firms increased by 9 per cent in 2016/17 from £21.52bn in 2015/16. The total revenue of the top 100 firms also rose by 9 per cent from £20.13bn to £21.98bn, the fastest rate of growth for this group in five years.

In the 2015/16 financial year the UK’s 100 largest law firms billed more than £20bn for the first time, generating a total revenue of £20.13bn, a rise of 5 per cent on 2014/15’s £19.24bn and then the largest revenue ever achieved by the group.

Over the past five years since 2012/13 the total value of The Lawyer top 100 has grown by 24 per cent, from £17.69bn.

The data in this year’s UK 200 report confirms the robustness the UK legal market has shown both during 2016/17 and since the days of the global financial crisis. While last year’s Brexit-related slow summer knocked the income and confidence of more than a handful of firms, overall most UK firms posted at least a slight increase in turnover while a third managed a double digit rise.

Similarly, the UK 200 data shows that over the past decade the total number of qualified lawyers in the top 200 has grown by 44 per cent, from 44,133 to 63,548 while the total net profit across the top 100 has risen by 61 per cent, from £4.3bn to £6.9bn.

The total revenue generated by the top 200 UK law firms since 2007/08 has grown by 73 per cent, from £13.5bn to £23.5bn.

This year’s UK 200 Top 100 report looks back to the start of the financial crisis to highlight some of the best and worst-performing firms over the past 10 years.

Notably the report highlights the fortunes of several firms in the mid-market, firms such as Osborne Clarke, Watson Farley & Williams, Holman Fenwick Willan and Fieldfisher that stand out thanks to their development of highly defined, sector-based brands.

The report also tracks the rise of US firms in London, with the Global London Index merging the UK-generated revenues of the UK with those of the largest US firms in the UK.

Most notably the report includes profiles of every firm in the 200 ranking, with the editorial based both on the data and interviews with senior management by The Lawyer team over the summer.