The winner of this award will be a managing partner, senior partner, head of chambers, chief executive or chief operating officer who has truly lead the way for their business in 2016. Key factors influencing our judging panel include market profile, outstanding strategic thinking, superb communication skills and the extent to which individuals have the support of their peers, partners, staff and clients in driving the firm’s business forward.
2016 WINNER: James Burns, Clyde & Co
Clyde & Co’s rise has been dramatic over the last five years and Burns has been central to this success. Year-on-year financial performance has been impressive, geographic expansion has been noteworthy and Burns is widely considered to have delivered well as senior partner since taking on the role in 2013.
In assuming control of last year’s Law Firm of the Year, Berg had big shoes to fill taking over from the popular Simon Beswick. However, the firm has continued its impressive momentum and not fallen into complacency under his leadership.
Shearman & Sterling
With Buckworth viewed as a galvanising Europe managing partner, Shearman & Sterling’s London office outperformed the rest of the firm in financial performance in 2014, growing 7% in the City to hit $145m compared to the 3% rise achieved by the firm as a whole.
Re-elected for a second term in November 2015 after he stood unopposed, Chissick is seen as the driving force behind Fieldfisher’s renaissance. The firm has enjoyed a strong run in recent years financially and year-on-year performance has been particularly impressive.
Eyles was re-elected, unopposed, for a third consecutive term as managing partner in July 2015 and has been largely credited in turning Taylor Wessing from a third-tier City player to a Global 100 firm, with revenues having grown 35% over the last five years. Eyles oversaw strategic growth in 2015, including a merger with Dutch firm Deterink.
CHRIS LOWE; LOTHAR WEGENER
Watson Farley & Williams
Since taking over from longstanding leader Michael Greville in January 2014, co-managing partners Lowe and Wegener have injected new impetus into a firm that typically hid its light under a bushel. The management team's approach is working – in its latest half-year results, the firm posted a 5% increase in revenues to £59.5m.
Having been sole managing director since 2007, Robertson was re-elected – uncontested – for another three-year term in summer 2015 and has overseen the firm's internationalisation in recent years, including the opening of ten offices across America, Asia and Europe. Since her election to the role, revenues at the firm have grown 71% from £78.2m to £134m.