International Law

Clifford Chance MP Predicts a Firm Future Less Focused on London


London’s top billing as an international financial and legal center could lose some of its luster in the foreseeable future, according to the global managing partner of Clifford Chance.

“If I could wave my magic wand, in three to five years I would want to have three hubs and, if I could do it, with three headquarters: London, New York and Shanghai,” David Childs tells the London Times.

Right now, the London-based megafirm brings in about 40 percent of its revenue from the London office, 14 percent from the United States and 8 percent from Asia (mostly continental European offices), according to the newspaper.

But “in four years’ time, Asia will certainly become very important to us, particularly when we are in India - and there is no doubt we will be in India,” Childs says.

Although foreign law firms are currently not permitted to open even overseas practice offices in India, it appears likely that this restriction will ease relatively soon. Meanwhile, Clifford Chance opened a business support office in Bombay last year, at which 110 people work to maintain the firm’s information technology system and perform accounting work for all offices firmwide. Within a year, the office is expected to employ 300 staff.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Clifford Chance FY Revenue up 11%, Hits $2.623 Billion”

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