PracticeAccounting FirmsAndersen makes legal history

Andersen makes legal history

Andersen has become the first accountancy firm to appear in the top ten list of global law firms with its legal arm - Andersen Legal - tying for the ninth position on the charts.

The latest survey, published in the October issue of American Lawyer, has Andersen Legal tied with Shearman & Sterling New York with revenues of $590m (Pounds 403m) in a industry where the global top 50 have earnings in excess of $25bn (Pounds 17.1bn).

Including Andersen Legal for the first time on the list, the magazine said the firm was ‘huge’ with a headcount of 2,880 lawyers, second only to US-based Baker & McKenzie’s which has almost 3,000 lawyers.

According to the magazine, Andersen is making only a ‘volume play’ at the moment, with revenue per partner ranking it at just 99th on the list, and has not yet broken into the ‘elite practice areas’.

But it said acccounting firms had the financial muscle that ‘dwarfed’ even the largest law firms.

American Lawyer reported Anthony Williams, Andersen’s global managing partner, as saying the firm was ‘patiently wooing higher-end work’. But future changes to US bar regulations would mean the firm could ‘go shopping for clients and the local legal talent to serve them’.

The list was headed by Clifford Chance with revenues of $1.4bn (Pounds 950m).

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Andersen warns on future growth

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