Magic Circle: Who are they? 5 Big law firms you need to know about

Who are the magic circle and what do they do?

By Bsyn Support

Report 14 Sep 2021
Magic Circle
Magic Circle: Who are they? 5 Big law firms you need to know about 1

What is Magic Circle?

The Magic Circle law firms are a group of multinational law firms headquartered in London. They have been nicknamed the Magic Circle by some lawyers, journalists and law students. These five firms are Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Linklaters and Slaughter and May. Magic Law Firms have an informal reputation for pre-eminence in their field that is not matched by any other grouping of legal practices anywhere else in the world. The Magic Circle’s dominance can be explained by its history as well as its strong ties to the British establishment through old-boy networks and Oxford University alumni associations.

Allen & Overy: specialises in banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A, private equity, project development and public law. Allen & Overy was founded by George Allen and Thomas Overy. The firm has over 2000 staff and operates from 16 offices across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Allen & Overy is was founded on 1st January 1930. The firm gained initial recognition as a result of George Allen’s advice to King Edward VIII during his abdication.

Linklaters: headquarter offices are also located in London with major practices throughout Asia Pacific (including China), North America (US only) Middle East & Africa as well as Europe where Linklaters has a strong presence across Eastern Europe particularly Poland while it has deep historical roots elsewhere including Russia. Linklaters Moscow office celebrated its centenary in 2010. Linklaters focuses on banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A as well as private equity projects with Linklaters lawyers also having a presence in the European Commission to assist Brussels-based clients to develop positions before EU regulators.

Freshfields: offers legal advice across all practice areas including real estate (with Freshfields expertise covering major property transactions), litigation & arbitration, public law (both domestically and internationally) and employment issues – particularly those relating to restrictive covenants such as non-compete agreements which are designed to prevent employees from joining rival organizations after the termination of their contracts. Freshfields has offices located throughout Asia Pacific (including China), Europe Middle East, North America where it is only Magic Law Firms US presence is Magic Circle significant, Latin America and Africa.

Slaughter and May: is a Magic Circle Law Firm based in London. It has been described as one of the most elite law firms in Britain and it consistently ranks among top tier international legal advisers to Fortune 100 companies worldwide.

Slaughter and May are consistently ranked in the top tier of international law firms by all major legal directories. Slaughter & May has been involved in many high-profile transactions, with a number of its lawyers being recognised as leading experts in their fields within both the Legal 500 UK, Chambers UK and IFLR 1000 rankings for 2014/2015.

Slaughter & May has offices across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia with over 700 lawyers worldwide. Slaughter & May Specialise in Mergers & Acquisitions, corporate and financing work.

Clifford Chance: Clifford Chance is a Magic Circle law firm with headquarters in London. The firm has traditionally been known for its transactional work, and this includes banking and finance, capital markets, asset finance. Clifford Chance employs over 4500 lawyers across 47 offices globally. Trainee roles at Clifford Chance involve mainly project management; this will involve coordinating lawyers across different jurisdictions on projects like cross-border M&A deals or international litigation cases.

Clifford & Chance prides itself on its approach-ability, and this is reflected in the fact that over 50% of trainees are promoted to associate within their first three years at Clifford.

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