Slaughter and May
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|No. of offices||Four|
|No. of lawyers||Approximately 560|
|No. of employees||Approximately 1,140|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Key people||Stephen Cooke (Senior Partner)
Richard Clark (Executive Partner)
|Revenue||£476.0 million (2014/15)|
|Profit per equity partner||£2.230 million (2014/15)|
|Date founded||1889 (London)|
|Company type||General partnership|
Slaughter and May is an international law firm headquartered in London and a member of the Magic Circle of elite British law firms. With the highest profits per equity partner (PEP) of any English law firm it is one of the most prestigious and profitable law firms in the world. In addition to London, it has offices in Beijing, Brussels and Hong Kong.
Slaughter and May employs approximately 560 fee-earners and 740 other staff. Despite being significantly smaller than the other members of the Magic Circle in terms of revenue and employees, it boasts the largest number of FTSE100 and FTSE250 clients in the UK. In 2012/13, Slaughter and May achieved total revenues of £416.2 million and, as at 4 September 2015, it boasts the highest PEP in the City at £2.23 million, trailed by Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer at £1.42 million and £1.37 million respectively. According to US careers publisher Vault, Slaughter and May is viewed by English solicitors as the most prestigious law firm in the United Kingdom.
Slaughter and May was founded on 1 January 1889 by William Capel Slaughter and William May. The firm's first office was located at 18 Austin Friars in the City of London. In 1974, the firm opened an office in Hong Kong, being the first London law firm to establish a presence there. During the 1980s and 1990s, the firm acted on a number of privatisations in the United Kingdom, including those of British Airways, British Gas and British Steel Corporation.
In 2002, Slaughter and May moved to its current London office at One Bunhill Row. Slaughter and May closed its New York office in September 2004 and its Singapore office in October 2004. The New York office had originally primarily handled English law financing work in the Americas, a market which had been in decline through the 1990s so the firm referred its U.S. work to Wall Street firms and similarly its Southeast Asia work to the Australian firm of Allens Arthur Robinson. In December 2005, Slaughter and May agreed to cede its Paris office to the French law firm Bredin Prat. In 2009, the firm opened an office in Beijing, China, to focus mainly on M&A and outbound and inbound investment.
In comparison to the other Magic Circle firms, Slaughter and May has a minimal overseas presence, and its international practice largely relies on a network of local law firms in other countries. These "best friend" firms have included Clayton Utz, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Gilbert + Tobin and Minter Ellison in Australia; Bell Gully in New Zealand; BonelliErede, Bredin Prat, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Hengeler Mueller and Uría Menéndez in continental Europe; Shin & Kim and Kim & Chang in South Korea; and three of the Big Four law firms in Japan.
Slaughter and May represent 33 clients on the FTSE 100 and 44 clients on the FTSE 250, more than any other firm. Its clients range from governments to entrepreneurs, from funds to leading banks, from retailers to entertainment companies and from diversified industrial conglomerates to Premier League football clubs.
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