Editor’s Note: this is the final part of a three-part series looking at competition between elite US and UK firms. Part I presented evidence that the US elite has vanquished their UK counterparts and Part II examined how this victory came about.

The US elite have distanced themselves significantly from their UK counterparts, as described in Parts I and II of this three-part series. They won the war for lateral talent, opened up a sizeable profitability gap, grew this gap significantly through the great recession, and have exhibited greater organizational growth and vitality, see Figures 1 and 2. The data suggest they are locking in their advantage as the phenomenon of increasing returns takes hold—this is, through the tendency for firms who are ahead to get further ahead as virtuous loops are established between attractive clients, great lawyers, and strong profits.

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