This award highlights the UK-based national or regional firm (with headquarters outside of London) that has made the most significant progress over the past year in advancing its strategy. Key factors taken into account will be evidence of effective leadership, impressive financial performance and increased market share across the firm’s major practice areas.
2016 WINNER: Stevens & Bolton
This consistently strong Guildford-based firm capped another successful year by entering the Legal Business 100 with turnover at £22.4m, having increased turnover by 49% over the last five years. Not only does financial performance outstrip many City firms but so does its client work, which includes advising SABMiller and BP.
With a strong five-year track that has seen revenues grow 47% and bolstered by its merger with London practice Rochman Landau in 2012, Ashfords posted another solid year, with revenue for 2015 up by 11% and PEP up 14%.
The 2012 merger of Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees continues to pay dividends, with revenues up by 8% and PEP up 26% in 2014/15. Highlights of a successful 2015 include being reappointed to The Crown Estate’s legal panel and its new appointment to Taylor Wimpey’s in December.
Last year’s winner Brodies continues to shine. It has seen an 11% increase in turnover to £57.9m, marking the firm’s fifth consecutive year of revenue and profit growth. Notably, the firm appointed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Karen Fountain to boost its corporate offering in Scotland’s key cities.
Revenues at Browne Jacobson are at their highest ever at £58.9m, which has been achieved by sustained organic growth. The firm has lifted turnover by 79% over the last five years and posted 7.5% growth for the first half of the current financial year, with another record year predicted.
A firm that has embraced investment in technology and lateral hires during the downturn, Foot Anstey has been consistently reaping the rewards. Since Westwell was elected managing partner in 2008, turnover at the south west firm has risen by 65%.
One of the most-improved players after a torrid period immediately post 2008, Shoosmiths has most definitely turned a corner and is starting to see a return on investment, with clients rating the firm as excellent value for money in our 2015 in-house survey. Revenues were up by 11% and PEP was up by a third during the last financial year, while the firm was also one of just three firms selected for Coca-Cola Enterprises' panel.