For the first time in our global rankings, DLA Piper took the top spot as the world’s highest-grossing firm, displacing Baker & McKenzie. DLA’s gross revenue grew by 8.6 percent in 2012, reaching $2.44 billion, surpassing Baker, which saw its top line grow by 4.6 percent, to $2.42 billion. As DLA Piper’s numbers show, there are growth opportunities in the world’s legal market. But for the most part, firms remain unsure of just how sustainable the tentative signs of a recovery are, and they continue to be exposed to sluggish markets.
By Richard Lloyd
Of the 10 highest-grossing firms in this year’s Global 100, four are British—Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, and Allen & Overy—but in the five years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, all have lost ground to their U.S. rivals .
Gross revenue for the world’s 100 largest law firms grew by just over $3 billion last year, hitting $85 billion.