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Clifford Chance Leads Rough Year for U.K. Firms View Count: 151

Revenue at the U.K.’s magic circle firms suffered a decline of 11 percent for the fiscal year ended April 30. Leading the way as the highest-grossing firm for the year was Clifford Chance.

Clifford Chance returned to the top spot despite suffering a 5 percent decline in revenue to $1.8 billion, Bloomberg reports.

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Linklaters, last year’s highest-grossing U.K. firm, fell to 2nd on revenue of $1.78 billion, which was an 8.8 percent decline from the prior year. Rounding out the magic circle firms were Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP with $1.73 billion, a drop of 11 percent; and Allen & Overy LLP, which reported revenue of $1.59 billion, a four percent drop.

Revenue is down a bit, but you always expect it to come down as the recession unwinds,” Tony Williams, founder of Jomati Consultants in London and a former managing partner at Clifford Chance, told Bloomberg. “The initial panic from the financial crisis and the Lehman collapse caused a lot of work, and there’s been a period where everyone sort of licks their wounds.”

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Bloomberg cited a major decrease in mergers & acquisitions work as the reason for the declines.

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