Abstract: Squaring the Magic Circle: A Comparative History of Law Firms in London and New York, 1950-2000

Christopher McKenna


Although few people know it, nearly half of the largest law firms in the world are British (the remainder are American), a ratio unmatched among any other set of professional firms. The success of the large London law firms after World War II, however, was never assured nor was the strength of the City of London as a financial center. In my paper, I argue that the postwar success of the London law firms was not preordained; their postwar success would come about despite,