Large law firms in the UK


There is no standard size of law firm in the UK. Practices may range from just one solicitor on their own working out of their house up to multi-national firms employing thousands of lawyers world-wide with offices in multiple jurisdictions.

They are often members of the so-called ‘magic circle’ a group of top-flight high quality specialist firms.


Large law firms such as these tend to handle commercial cases that require a lot of man-power, although sometimes they will represent individuals, particularly if they have significant personal assets.

Typically, cases taken on by big firms will involve one or more of the following areas of law:

  • Corporate law
  • Competition
  • Employment
  • Antitrust and EU
  • Tax
  • Intellectual property
  • Banking and Finance
  • Regulatory
  • International arbitration
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Emissions trading
  • Media and reputation management

It is also possible that they will handle very common matters such as family law or conveyancing, maintaining sizable departments in order to process the cases very quickly.


Since their clients tend to be large enterprises, large law firms tend to be based in commercial centres, with the majority having their headquarters in London. Some are also based in other big cities such as Manchester and Bristol, and most will have satellite offices or meeting rooms elsewhere.

You can find out more about where law firms are based on our locations pages.


Anyone can instruct any firm to act for them, provided their case falls within the firm’s expertise. However, private individuals and small companies may well find it is more cost effective to use smaller firms where they will have the opportunity to develop a relationship with the partners.

Consequently large firms tend to deal primarily with multinational corporations and government bodies.

Nevertheless, if your case is extremely complicated or involves multiple areas of law, particularly commercial law, it may be worth engaging a larger practice since they are likely to have the multi-specialist base to deal with your case efficiently.

If you would like some help to determine what type of law firm you need, Contact Law can listen to your legal problem and recommend a law firm to suit you.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on an area of the law Contact Law can put you in touch with a cost effective specialist law firm, large or small, free of charge. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above to speak to one of our advisors.

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