Legal Business

‘Mishcon’ no more but a City player at last? Wragges needs a big deal and the old magic

‘Wragge & Co was the Mishcon of its day.’ That statement from a former veteran of the Midlands giant sums it up in many ways.

In the late 1990s Wragges wasn’t just the best law firm the English regions had bred, it was a firm that broke the rules. The mix of flair, quality lawyering and an ability to astutely break away from the herd had few if any direct comparisons at the time. Wragges had a recognition and respect in the City absent from most national and regional competitors. More than that, Wragges stood out from rivals and could quicken the professional pulse in a way that Mishcon de Reya does today.

That’s not to say that the intervening years have been a disaster. The 119-partner firm remains a perfectly respectable performer. But along the way too many strategic shuffles and an uncertain crack at the City has stolen Wragges’ mystique. The firm also arguably allowed its practice to become too diffuse and lacked clarity over which section of the market it was focusing on, to the detriment of its corporate practice. Wragges’ famed morale is now, well, just like the rest.