Editor's Comment: Tough enough
Considering 2007 was top-of-the cycle boom time and that the pundits have been queuing up to predict the imminent humbling of top UK law firms, as troughs go, 2007-08 looks a bit, well, peaky. Even allowing for a booming first quarter and substantial run-off work easing the pain of the crunch, that the top 50 achieved double-digit revenue growth for the third year in a row bodes well. Last year the top 50 billed £10.5bn, this year it managed just over £12bn. Of course, revenue growth has slowed, though not as much as you would expect. Not that the overall numbers say much. The year was a great reminder why that old line about the receding tide revealing naked swimmers is still one of the best quotes about business. So while plenty of firms - many of them from that derided band below the magic circle - sparkled, a number saw their practices come under sustained pressure.
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