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The front page article in the Financial Times on 5 June told the whole story. In a type size that would do justice to the tabloids was the headline “Law firms’ profits are fuelled by M&A boom”. The article went on to outline how the boom in cross-border M&A, with strong growth in regulatory and compliance work, has increased profits at magic circle firms by up to 25% in the last year. However, this has been balanced by another round in the seemingly endless ‘war for talent’ that has driven the leading firms to raise pay sharply for associates as they battle to retain the best brains.

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