Profit margin split highlights stark disparities across UK top 50

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has emerged as the most profitable firm in the UK top 50, with 2012-13 financial results showing profit margins across the group have remained broadly static.

Freshfields comes out top when ranking the top 50 firms by profit margin, with net profit as a percentage of revenue standing at 44.9%. Linklaters places second with a 43.7% margin, with Macfarlanes and Travers Smith – the 28th and 40th largest UK firms respectively by revenue – ranking third and fourth and Allen & Overy (A&O) completing the top five.

Average profitability across the 42 top 50 firms that fully disclosed their financial results stands at 25.2% for 2012-13, flat on the previous year's figure of 25.8%. 

However, this disguises sizable fluctuations across the group, with SJ Berwin posting the largest year-on-year profit margin increase, up from 27.6% to 35.7%. Conversely, Trowers & Hamlins saw a significant decrease with profit margin down almost five percentage points from 24.9% to 20.2%.

Read the full story at Legal Week

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