Law Practice

Big London Firms Take a Breather


A slowing international mergers and acquisitions market is expected to trim the phenomenal profits recently being made by major London-based law firms.

All five of the city’s so-called Magic Circle firms recently announced profit increases of at least 20 percent last year (the figure exceeded 30 percent at Allen & Overy). However, big-firm administrators say the situation was too hot not to cool down, sooner or later, reports the Financial Times.

Clifford Chance, for instance, expects the summer to be slower after “probably the biggest quarter we have ever had” in May, June and July, says Mark Campbell, global head of finance at Clifford Chance. However, a cooler M&A climate could result in more legal work on a given deal, he notes, if it becomes difficult to complete and hence more complex.

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