British law firms.
Taking the magic abroad.
London's big law firms are expanding their global footprints.
LAWYERS are cautious folk. So the recent collapse of Dewey & Leboeuf, a big American law firm, has scared them. Dewey failed because it tried to grow too fast, by borrowing too much money. Other firms still want to grow, but they are doing so slowly and carefully.
律师是十分谨慎的人群。因此，最近美国大型律师事务所Dewey & Leboeuf的倒闭已经吓坏了他们。Dewey律师事务所（后文简称Dewey）之所以倒闭，是因为急切扩张，借贷了大量贷款。其他事务所仍然寻求发展，但他们做的比较缓慢和小心。
Consider London's top five law firms, known as the "magic circle". Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance released results early this week, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters were expected to do so later. (Slaughter and May does not release public results.) Allen & Overy had a good year, with its revenues growing by 6% and its profits by 7%. Clifford Chance, the biggest, did even better, with revenues up by 7% and profits up by 13%.
以伦敦最大的五家律师事务所为例，他们被称为"梦幻集团"。Allen & Overy和Clifford Chance在周初发布了他们的业绩报告，Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 和 Linklaters随后也将发布业绩报告。（Slaughter and May没有发布公开的业绩报告。）Allen & Overy事务所的收益不错，总收入增长6%，利润增长7%。最大的Clifford Chance事务所表现的更好，总收入增长7%，利润增长13%。
Emerging markets are where the growth is. Allen & Overy now gets 22% of its revenue from such places, up from 15% a few years ago. It opened an office in Vietnam a month ago and another in Jakarta 17 months previously. As for China, so many Western firms have piled in that they have competed each other's fees down, but Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy's (Belgian) boss, is still optimistic: the centre of gravity has moved from Shanghai to Beijing, he says, as the focus has shifted from inbound mergers and investment to Chinese money flowing out.
这种增长来自于新兴市场。Allen & Overy事务所来自于新兴市场的收入从几年前的15%增长到22%。它一个月前在越南开了一个营业处，17个月前在雅加达同样开了另一个（营业处）。对于中国，涌入了如此多的事务所以至于他们相互低价竞争。但Allen & Overy的比利时老板Wim Dejonghe仍然很乐观，他表示：市场的中心已经从上海转移到北京，因为焦点已经从入境兼并和投资转移到中国资金的外流。
David Childs, the boss of Clifford Chance, is also bullish on China. His firm cut partners during the recession, but not in Asia, the Middle East or Brazil. As for downward pressure on fees, Mr Childs says, slowly, "They are very careful buyers…in Asia," before insisting that his firm has no trouble with pricing there. The firm's revenues grew by 28% in Asia this year, thanks in part to a push into Australia. Next year will be tougher: though bank regulatory work and dispute resolution are providing steady fees, "I'd much rather have healthy transaction flows."
Clifford Chance的老板David Childs同样看好中国市场。在经济萧条期间他的公司削减了合作伙伴，但不是在亚洲，中东和巴西。就收费走低的压力的问题，Childs先生缓缓地说："亚洲人是很谨慎的买家。"随后他坚持，在亚洲他的公司没有定价方面的困扰。今年公司在亚洲地区的收入增长了28%，部分是得益于进入澳大利亚市场。明年的形式可能会困难一些：尽管银行监管工作和调解纠纷在提供稳定的酬金，我更希望拥有可观的交易佣金收入。
The magic circle may be getting a new competitor. Herbert Smith, a second-tier firm, announced a merger with Freehills, one of Australia's biggest, on June 28th. With revenues of over $1 billion, the merged firm will be bigger than Slaughter and May. It will push for work related to Austrialia's commodity boom and Asian capital markets. But David Willis, Herbert Smith's boss, is keen to stress the firm's un-Dewey-like gradualism: "We're not expecting a huge increase in earnings in year one. That's not why we're doing this."
梦幻集团可能会有一个新的竞争者。6月28日，位于行业第二集团的Herbert Smith事务所宣布与Freehills事务所进行合并，后者是澳大利亚最大的律师事务所之一。合并后的事务所将以10亿美元的收入超过Slaughter and May事务所。它将推进与澳大利亚商品市场和亚洲资本市场等相关的工作的发展。但Herbert Smith的老板David Willis着重强调公司不同于Dewey的增长模式："我们不期望在一年之内实现收入的大幅增长。这不是我们进行合并的原因。"