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Recession takes the crown from Clifford Chance

Recession takes the crown from Clifford Chance

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British firm Clifford Chance has lost its title as the world's biggest law firm to an American rival as it revealed a 37 per cent plunge in profits.

British firm Clifford Chance has lost its title as the world's biggest law firm to an American rival as it revealed a 37 per cent plunge in profits.The firm saw average earnings down for the year to April, as its major banking and corporate clients were hit by the global financial crisis. Annual revenues fell by five per cent to £1.26 billion, (AUD$2.4b) meaning that US giant Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom now takes the top spot, having made US$2.2 billion (AUD$2.7b) in 2008. Legal experts say that this is indicative of the shift in legal power from London back to New York.Clifford Chance’s banking, mergers and acquisitions, property and private-equity divisions suffered most in the downturn. The firm axed nearly eight per cent of its employees in London, while globally its partnership will shrink by 15 per cent by the end of the current financial year.Trade publication, Legal Business, said Clifford Chance would fall to sixth in its annual survey of the world’s highest-grossing law firms firms out next week.
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