The legal sector used to be such a nice, calm place to do business. Partners and clients would occasionally come and go. The odd practice would falter, while a few firms made slightly more money than everyone else. But the market historically lived up to its reputation as a bastion of sleepy conservatism and resilience. Then came the financial crisis, which forced the legal elite to adapt to the most turbulent market conditions for a generation. As firms tussle for position in this new world order, the pronounced uptick in law firm merger activity has transformed our Global 100 rankings. New giants are emerging to dominate our charts, thanks in part to the increasing use of looser organizational structures that have facilitated these combinations. The net result of all this change is that The Global 100 has become more top-heavy. The upper echelons of the international legal market, as measured by revenue, are becoming increasingly dominated by a smaller number of larger firms. And the gap is widening.
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