The UK’s 100 largest law firms generated revenue of £33.7bn between them in 2022/23, The Lawyer can reveal in its annual UK200 report, released today.

The figure is up 7 per cent from £31.3bn in 2021/22, demonstrating the resilience the UK’s legal sector despite continued turbulence in the political and economic landscapes.

Meanwhile, the Independents – those firms ranked 101 to 200 – generated a further £2bn in revenue. Profiles of the UK 51-100 firms and The Independents report will be released in October and November.

The City 50, which charts the largest firms in London, is now in its sixth year. In its first year in 2018, the total revenue of the City 50 was £9.5bn. Five years ago in 2019 the total stood at £10.01bn. This year, that has risen to £13.4bn. Despite economic headwinds, political upheaval and unforeseen shock after unforeseen shock, the elite end of the London legal market stubbornly and flatly refuses to wither.

Much of the top line growth and a significantly higher share of the market activity in the City can be laid at the door of firms headquartered in the US. While a UK-headquartered firm, Linklaters, is once again in number one position in this year’s City 50 ranking, the London market shake-up catalysed by the sheer financial muscle of US firms has never been clearer.

If resilience is a theme of the UK200 this year, the increasing difficulty of growing profits is another. The total net profit of the 100 largest firms was £10.267bn – flat on last year’s £10.261bn. One firm in the Top 100 actually made a loss in 2022/23: O’Neill Patient, where net profit dropped by 105 per cent to go £300,000 into the red. The firm specialises in conveyancing and remortgaging, and the figures echo the tough year this market has had.

The full UK200 overview and City 50 reports are now available on The Lawyer’s Signal channels; the list of the top 100 can be explored below.

  • This report was originally published in The Lawyer.

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