With specialist law firms striking an increasingly confident note in the market, this award will be handed to a boutique practice that has performed exceptionally in terms of rapidly establishing itself, approaching its chosen market creatively and effectively competing against far larger competition.
2016 Winner: Tapestry Compliance
This smart, efficient law firm specialising in global compliance for share plans is proving very popular with significant clients, including Credit Suisse, HSBC and Rolls-Royce. In addition, it is becoming the go-to choice for referrals from some of the strongest global law firms.
CAMPBELL JOHNSTON CLARK
Established as a breakaway practice by three partners from Holman Fenwick Willan, this niche shipping firm started life with three partners, two senior associates and two support staff. Only five years later the firm has 12 directors, 21 associates and 14 support staff with offices in London, Newcastle, Dublin and Singapore.
One of the veterans of the boutique law firm scene having started life 18 years ago, IT specialist Kemp Little has been at the top of its field for a number of years and counts a number of FTSE 100 companies as its clients. In 2014/15 fee income increased 32%, meaning the firm broke the £10m threshold for the first time.
Established in 2010, MJ Hudson was created to provide specialist legal advice to the alternative assets sector – private equity, venture, hedge and sovereign wealth funds. Industry knowledge is a given – a third of the team has previously worked for asset managers and as such the firm’s client list is impressive.
Established in early 2011 by a group of breakaway partners from Big Law firms, technology and outsourcing specialist Radiant Law is making good on its ambitions to shake up conservative forms of providing legal services, with its preference for fixed fees over hourly rates.
In four years, this disputes boutique has firmly established itself among the best litigation practices in the City. This is reflected by the quality of the work handled by Huntley and his team and the financial performance of the firm, such as acting for shareholder groups in the high-profile RBS rights issue litigation.
Constantine Partasides QC
Three Crowns has become the most-watched disputes boutique in the last two years, after launching to much fanfare in March 2014. Established by a trio of market-leading arbitration specialists from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the reputation of the boutique is special given its strong heritage.