You just have to look around the world to see the number of high-quality independent law firms out there, and these firms have improved by working with each other. The Silver Circle is a group of corporate law firms based in London, which are outside the Magic Circle and have lower turnover than the members of that group, but have an average profit per equity partner (PEP) and an average income per lawyer (RPL) well above the UK average. This term was conceived by industry publication The Lawyer to describe law firms that are located just outside the Magic Circle, but which nevertheless generate much higher revenues per lawyer than the average UK firm. I have hired lawyers for 10 years and hope to understand law firm terminology quite well.
There are no other Magic Circle firms, however, there are other large London law firms working on corporate cases around the world. Although Magic Circle law firms are seen as the top tier for UK law, this is not to say that other firms are not capable of imparting great respect and a strong reputation. The five firms in the Magic Circle — Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May — are generally considered to be the most prestigious law firms with the highest revenues based in the UK. When it comes to salaries at these law firms, first-year apprentices can expect to earn between £42,000 and £44,000, while second-year students will take home close to £50,000.
Entry into these Magic Circle law firms is notoriously competitive, with fairly low short-term promotion prospects. Working for a Magic Circle law firm is a dream come true for many in the industry, but those seeking positions with one of these organizations should be prepared to invest heavily if they want to earn the associated rewards. Focused on the UK 200 and the evolving domestic market, including the four major accounting firms and the largest law firms. Ideal for those who don't want to work in London, national law firms have a network of offices in several regions and cities across the UK.
Another misconception that I frequently encounter is the use of the term “Silver Circle law firm”.