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.
2016 WINNER: Pinsent Masons
New leadership has added extra bite to the story of Pinsent Masons in the last year, one of the fastest-growing UK-headquartered firms in our Global 100 report over the past five years. A clear focus on four global sectors has reaped rewards: revenue at the firm was up 12% year-on-year and 70% over five years.
ALLEN & OVERY
By far the standout performer of London’s big four over the last five years, A&O saw revenue growth of 4% to £1.28bn in 2014/15, while profits per equity partner came in at £1.21m, a rise of 8%. Significantly, A&O made two key moves to address the intense competitive threat of US law firms, last year ushering in a bonus pool for ‘exceptional partners’ in a bid to retain and attract talent.
Outstanding organic growth has supercharged this firm’s bottom line. A PEP for 2014/15 of £1.56m means it outstrips the London elite on individual partner profits while it has been one of the most successful top-100 firms over the last five years with revenue growth of 73%.
MISHCON DE REYA
In 2015, Mishcon de Reya exceeded its financial target of £100m revenue a year ahead of schedule – the fifth consecutive year that it has beaten its financial target, in a period that has seen a total revenue increase of over 130%.
Stephenson Harwood was among the top-performing firms year-on-year for revenue and PEP in the Legal Business 100 in 2015 and fares well on a five-year track too. The firm cited robust growth in its London, China and Dubai practices, while its commercial litigation, corporate and real estate practices also saw buoyant results.
Demonstrating the rising stock of specialist practices in the UK top 100, disputes-only player Stewarts Law was one of the strongest performers overall in 2014/15, with turnover rising 13% to £52.4m and PEP up 14% to £1.3m.
This firm can boast a highly credible performance in the Legal Business 100 in recent years and has proved it is not just a one-trick pony. 2014/15 saw record results, with a 9% rise in revenue, breaking the £100m boundary, while PEP was up 8% to £947,000. Those results also mark back-to-back growth at the 300-lawyer firm.