Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance LLP is a global law firm
Law firm
A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. The primary service rendered by a law firm is to advise clients about their legal rights and responsibilities, and to represent clients in civil or criminal cases, business transactions, and other...

 headquartered in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and a member of the 'Magic Circle'
Magic Circle (law)
The "Magic Circle" is an informal term used to collectively describe what are generally regarded to be the five leading UK-headquartered law firms and the four or five leading London-based commercial barristers' chambers.-Law firms:...

 of leading UK law firms. It is one of the ten largest law firms in the world measured by both number of lawyers and revenue. In 2010/11 it achieved total revenues of £1.219 billion and profits per equity partner of £1.005 million.
David Childs has been Managing Partner since 2006.


Clifford Chance's origins date back to a law firm founded in London in 1802. One of Clifford Chance's predecessor firms established an office in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 in 1986. The merger of London-based law firms Clifford Turner and Coward Chance in 1987 led to the formation of Clifford Chance. Neither Clifford Turner or Coward Chance were first-rank London law firms, but their merger has since been said to have changed the shape and profile of law firms in London and globally. Over the next decade the firm expanded its practices across Europe and Asia and more than doubled in size. In 1992 Clifford Chance became the first major non-US firm to practise US law.

In 1999 Clifford Chance merged with Frankfurt-based law firm Pünder, Volhard, Weber & Axster and with the 1871-established US-based firm Rogers & Wells
Rogers & Wells
Rogers & Wells was a New-York based international law firm founded in 1873. After several name changes, it was renamed for William P. Rogers and John A. Wells. The firm was well known for its litigation arm...

 (the use of the Pünder, Volhard, Weber & Axster and Rogers & Wells branding for their respective European and United States regional offices was discontinued in 2003). In 2002, Clifford Chance launched in California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, setting up a branch with nearly 50 attorneys from the disbanding dot-com firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison
Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison
Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP was a large law firm based in San Francisco, California. In 2003, the firm was liquidated under Chapter 7 of the U.S...

 in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, Palo Alto
Palo Alto, California
Palo Alto is a California charter city located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, United States. The city shares its borders with East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park. It is...

, San Diego and San Francisco. With California's downturn, the firm closed its Pacific Coast operations in 2007.

Because of falling revenues during the recent global recession, Clifford Chance reduced the number of partners by around 15%. The firm is increasingly moving back office tasks to its 350-employee Global Shared Service Centre, including a 60-employee Knowledge Centre in New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

, India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 as an efficiency measure.

On 1 May 2011, Clifford Chance opened offices in Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 by merging with two boutique law firms, Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

-based Chang, Pistilli & Simmons and Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

-based Cochrane Lishman Carson Luscombe.

In November 2011 it was identified as the largest supplier to the City of London Corporation having received over £9m in fees between January and September of that year.

Main practice areas

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets
  • Corporate law
  • Real estate
  • Litigation

Further reading

  • Scott, John (1980). Clifford-Turner. Legibus.
  • Slinn, Judy (1993). Clifford Chance: Its Origins and Development. Granta Editions.
  • Bose, Mihir, 'Clifford Chance: A Very Peculiar Practice?', Director, March 1990, pp. 65–66, 68, 70.
  • 'Playing for Stakes: The Game of Clifford Chance', Legal Business, June 1993, pp. 28–31.
  • 'London Braces for the Big Six Invasion', American Lawyer, December 1996, pp. 5–6.
  • Rose, Craig, 'Clifford Chance: The Merger That Worked', Commercial Lawyer, Issue 15, 1997, pp. 32–34.
  • Morris, John E., 'The New World Order', American Lawyer, August 1999, pp. 92–99.
  • 'Merger in the First Degree: British Law Firms Are Forging New Relationships That Could Transform the Style of Global Legal Practice', Time International, 9 August 1999, p. 41.
  • Steinberger, Mike, 'Is Clifford Chance/Rogers & Wells the Next Wave, or Simply Overkill?', Investment Dealers' Digest, 9 August 1999, pp. 12–13.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.