Credit: Carlos Zamora

After a year in which growth appeared to be slowing among the world’s largest firms, the Global 100 bounced back in a big way. Total revenue rose 6.4 percent—and crossed the $100 billion mark in the process. And after dipping slightly in the year prior, profits per equity partner climbed 3.4 percent. As former Clifford Chance managing partner Tony Williams says in our analysis of the numbers, “Last year was the first in a long time that most firms had all practice areas faring well.”

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But the news goes beyond just the numbers. The list itself is changing, taking on an increasingly international aspect. This year, two firms with three-quarters of their lawyers in China made the list for the first time, and more of the same can be expected going forward. Our China 45 report (expanded from the usual 40 and publishing online later this week) reveals even more about what’s happening in that growing market.

There was major growth last year, thanks largely to a booming mergers and acquisitions market and a vibrant tech sector, with businesses of all shapes and sizes requiring legal help.

Only one major trans-Atlantic merger was completed between January 2011 and February 2017, but they have quickly become en vogue once again. It’s time to examine whether they’re worth it.

For years, globalization has been key for a large group of U.S. law firms, but many have since halted their expansion efforts.

The priority for U.K.-based lawyers is introducing certainty to deals and insulating clients from potential political and economic shocks over the next six months and beyond.

As financial sanctions lifted after apartheid’s end in 1994 and South Africa’s economy opened, multinational companies looking to do business in the country and elsewhere in Africa found themselves in need of sophisticated legal services.

Global firms rooted in the U.S. and Spain are looking to outcompete established local players, and they’re eager to find the right partners to help them do so.

Both our Global 100 report and our newsroom (for a time) are going through changes.


The Global 100 Ranked by Revenue

The Global 100 Ranked by Head Count

The 2018 Global 100 Ranked by PEP