The most outstanding law firms of the last 12 months make the shortlist in this, our most prestigious award. Judges will be looking for firms that have taken the market by storm and have achieved more than their direct competitors and peers. Achievements may include the successful development of new practice areas, expansion into new international or domestic markets, new client wins, the completion of a strategic merger or acquisition, improved financial performance, or a successful recruitment policy.
2017 WINNER: Mishcon de Reya
Based on organic financial performance, it has been Mishcon’s decade – ranked 77th in the LB100 in 2006, turnover has grown from £29m to £132.7m, an increase of 358%. Over that period it has become clear there is a clear niche for the firm - a profitable, high-quality independent staffed with partners with no desire to be smothered in a global law firm.
CLYDE & CO
While many firms have struggled for growth since the financial crisis, Clyde & Co has doubled in size twice in ten years and has an average compound annual revenue growth figure of 13% over the same period. Boosting revenues by 13% to £447m in 2015/16 underlined this exceptional performance following the firm’s merger with Scottish player Simpson & Marwick at the end of 2015.
FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER
By some margin the strongest-performing Magic Circle firm in 2015/16, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer posted 7% revenue growth from £1.245bn to £1.327bn and an 8% profit per equity partner (PEP) hike to £1.47m from £1.37m. This performance is particularly impressive after a year of major investment.
One of the top performers domestically and internationally over the last two to three years, Osborne Clarke again posted impressive financials for 2015/16, continuing its remarkable run with an 18% rise in revenue to reach £178.6m. This means it has doubled its turnover in just five years on the back of a strategy that has seen it focus on high-growth sectors such as life sciences, renewable energy and digital business.
In the LB100, Stewarts Law is the UK’s fastest-growing law firm over the past five years. Revenues increased 118% from £28.5m in 2011 to £62.1m in 2016. This disputes specialist is also the second most profitable law firm in the UK, with a profit margin of 47% and profit per equity partner of £1.6m. Expansion of the disputes-driven practice, such as adding trusts and probate litigation capability in 2016, will ensure that growth trajectory will continue.
WHITE & CASE
In 2015 record global financial results were achieved for the second consecutive year, with revenue up to $1.52bn and PEP up to $2m. Underpinning this success was a strong contribution from London, with UK revenue of around $283m, driven largely by significant investment in deals and disputes teams.