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How US Firms' Growth Has Changed London's Legal Scene

Aebra Coe law360.com

An onslaught of U.S. law firms into London over the past decade, driven largely by private equity and financial industry work, has created increased competition for talent in the city’s legal market and pushed U.K.-based law firms to rethink their strategies surrounding compensation.

Approximately 100 U.S. law firms now have an office in London, and the number of London-based lawyers practicing in American law firms has more than doubled over the past decade, according to data from Chambers and Partners — a steady infiltration experts say has had a major impact on the U.K. legal sector, pushing the country’s native law firms to adapt in order to keep up with the increased competition.

“U.S. law firms have been in London since the 1970s, but over the past 10 years or so we have seen U.S. firms increasingly take market share from Magic Circle and midmarket U.K firms,” said Suzy O’Keefe, of Major Lindsey & Africa.


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