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Freshfields Revenue Rise Outperforms Allen & Overy

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July 5 (Bloomberg) -- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, the law firm that advises the Bank of England, increased revenue by 7.2 percent to 1.22 billion pounds ($1.84 billion), outperforming two of its competitors.

Linklaters LLP, another one of the largest London-based law firms, said today that its revenue rose by 1 percent to 1.19 billion pounds in the last financial year. Allen & Overy LLP’s earnings increased less than 1 percent to 1.19 billion pounds.

The firms, three of the largest in the world by revenue, have been relying heavily on fees from litigation and regulatory advice as restructuring, deal work and advice in emerging markets slowed. Freshfields has the largest litigation practice of the three firms by number of lawyers.

“Over the past six years we have worked hard at making our offering across our practices, sectors and geographies as nimble and flexible as possible to ensure we can adapt to changing client demand,” Ted Burke, managing partner at Freshfields, said in a statement. “These strong results demonstrate how this approach is working.”

Freshfields’ profit per equity partner, a key measure of law firm profitability, rose by 7.6 percent to 1.3 million pounds during the last financial year, the firm said in a statement. Partner profit at Linklaters rose by 5.6 percent to 1.3 million pounds.

Allen & Overy’s profit per partner was stable at 1.1 million pounds, the firm said yesterday. Clifford Chance LLP hasn’t reported its earnings yet, and Slaughter and May don’t publish their results. The five London-based firms are known collectively as the Magic Circle, a term created by U.K. legal trade publications.

Linklater’s revenue stagnated in the last financial year because of “volatile” global markets, while African and Asian markets continue to provide cause for optimism, Simon Davies, the firm’s managing partner, said in a phone interview.

“Our clients continue to face a challenging market and we have done our very best to serve them,” Davies said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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