Elite UK law firms are losing market share to their US rivals, which have been expanding aggressively in London on the back of US corporate deals, research shows.
The UK’s top 100 law firms saw combined turnover fall to £20.64bn in its 2015 results — a drop of 1 per cent on the £20.82bn reported in the 12-month period ending April 2014 — after some firms were hit by foreign exchange fluctuations including the weak euro.
The number of lawyers employed by the UK’s top 100 firms has fallen 2 per cent to 64,024, according to the research published on Friday by Legal Business magazine. By contrast, the top 100 US legal firms, which are among the world’s largest, have seen average growth of 5 per cent with total revenues of $92.87bn. Since 2011 the US firms, whose partners can command million-dollar salaries, have been expanding their London offices. They have been taking market share from their UK rivals as they leverage off their tight client relationships with US banks in areas such as investment banking.