Editor's Comment: End of road for PEP
They've done it. The big gambles - defensive and offensive - that UK firms made a decade ago as the concept of a global legal market emerged have paid off handsomely. Obviously, that success is most unambiguously demonstrated by the big four, which as a group picked up pace during another 12 months of uniformly busy M&A and securities markets. The four alone clocked up £4.18bn in fees, equivalent to 40% of the entire UK top 50's income in 2006-07. It was, in short, an amazing year for them - in global terms, a breakthrough year. Forget talk of a leading six or seven firms, just four are moving on to another level and Allen & Overy has done fantastically well to put itself convincingly back into that group after a turbulent 2005-06.
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