London 'key law centre': Survey finds fees among the highest in Europe

BRITISH law firms charge their corporate clients some of the highest fees in Europe, according to a survey published today.

However, the Euromoney report shows that, despite the level of fees, London remains more important as a legal centre than any other European capital.

According to Euromoney, which compared legal services in 15 European countries, companies pay an average of pounds 140 an hour for advice on domestic British law and pounds 231 an hour for advice on international law.

This is significantly more than is charged by lawyers across the countries surveyed, assessed by Euromoney at an average of pounds 166 an hour. The average fee for domestic legal services was pounds 134.

British lawyers charged more for advice on international law than their colleagues in any of the other 15 countries. On domestic matters, only German, French and Swiss lawyers were more expensive than the British.

In-house lawyers employed by large UK companies tended to earn slightly less than their counterparts in the other countries. The average salary in Britain was pounds 54,000, with earnings ranging from pounds 35,000 to pounds 97,000. On the Continent, salaries ranged from pounds 37,000 to pounds 101,000, with an average of pounds 58,000.

However, clients considered fees less important than technical ability, knowledge of the law or understanding of the market. Cost was only the seventh most important factor when chosing a law firm.

Euromoney asked 185 of the biggest companies in Europe to list their top law firms, and the results served to emphasise the pre-eminence of London. Of the five best firms, four are based in Britain - Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Paines, Slaughter and May and Freshfields.

'The survey shows that London is still Europe's dominant legal centre, with strength in depth unrivalled anywhere on the Contintent,' the report says.

However, it adds: 'Dutch, US and German firms are fast challenging UK firms' dominance of Europe, constituting six of the top 10 best law firms.'

Three-quarters of respondents said they would need more legal advice in Eastern Europe, but could not find lawyers proficient in the field. This was one of 'several important new challenges' facing corporate legal departments, Derek Duggan, research manager at Euromoney, said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power