Clyde & Co

Initial thoughts


Clyde & Co recently got the international bug and have been aggressively opening up offices and forming alliances around the world. In a short space of time, they’ve transformed themselves into a global firm.

Something a bit different

Clyde & Co’s core is insurance and shipping. Insurance makes up about 70% of their revenue and we’d say they’re one of the best insurance firms in the world. They like to go around snapping up insurance teams at firms which aren’t as insurance-focused, which they did that in Australia and South Africa (raiding both of Linklaters’ alliance firms). They’ve also made huge waves in the US (the biggest legal insurance market); now they’re up to nine offices with a particular strength in insurance and litigation.

They’ve also bulked up their shipping practice recently with a big team from Eversheds in Newcastle and a shipping team from Ince & Co.

And then some more…

Clyde & Co has been trying to expand beyond their core insurance and shipping sectors for a while now. They’re investing in construction and infrastructure (the traditional domain of Pinsent Masons). They also lead the market in a few other areas like aviation and international arbitration.

They’re very big in litigation, which often goes hand in hand with their insurance work, and were recently ranked the most active firm in the English courts and across the Asia Pacific by The Lawyer. Its presence in the Asia Pacific region is one of the fastest-growing by headcount (along with Pinsents) where they’ve grown to 10 offices.

What happened to their competitors?

In a lot of ways Clyde, Eversheds and Pinsent Masons are comparable – or at least were until recently. Over the past few years, they were all a similar size with Clyde taking the lead in revenue followed by Pinsents and Eversheds. Although now it looks like Eversheds will top the group after their merger with Sutherland.

When it comes to profits, they were also pretty similar. Eversheds typically boasted a slightly higher PEP followed by Clyde and Pinsents, again that’ll change after the Eversheds’ merger.

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