All change in the magic circle, CC's SRA scrutiny and DLA hack fallout - the best of Legal Week last week

The results are in, and the winner is clear – at least across the magic circle.

Allen & Overy (A&O) has eclipsed its peers with double-digit growth in both revenue and profit per equity partner (PEP) that outstrips its closest rivals by some distance. Even in a year during which the weak pound has bumped up overseas revenues when converted back into sterling, A&O’s 16% revenue growth and 26% hike in PEP looks hugely impressive.

Close behind, Clifford Chance saw revenue climb by 11% against a 12% hike in PEP, taking profit growth during the past two financial years to 23%.

The results push Linklaters into the shade, despite a solid performance in which revenue grew by 10% and PEP by 7.8% to see it overtake Freshfields.

The latter firm has bucked the trend across many leading UK firms, reporting a ‘challenging’ year during which revenue stayed virtually static despite the gain from exchange rate fluctuations, while PEP climbed 5% but only due to equity partner numbers shrinking by a similar percentage.

The figures come despite the firm taking a number of measures to boost profitability, including scaling back partner numbers, secretarial redundancies and investment in its Manchester services centre.

Results across the top 50 as a whole have been mixed, with some firms seeing both revenue and PEP soar on the back of currency gains and others seeing the uplift in revenue terms but not profitability.

Those reporting strong results include:

Those reporting mixed or negative numbers include:

But it hasn’t all been about financial results this week. DLA Piper is still getting itself fully up and running after a cyber attack crippled its systems almost two weeks ago, with Legal Week reporting on the potential cost of the ransomware hack. The firm today (10 July) thanked thanked clients, business partners and industry peers for their “support, patience and understanding” during the fallout from the attack.

Other highlights on Legal Week during the past week include: