The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Managed by long-termer Alison Loveday and steered by founder Reuben Berg, Manchester firm Berg Legal has witnessed steady growth, over the past two years in particular, to reach last year’s turnover of £4.5m.
“We’ve not over-expanded, our name is well known and the economic environment suits a firm like ours – we’re well placed to weather the storm,” says Berg, who was a litigation specialist at Halliwell Landau prior to setting up his own firm. “We tend to appeal to hi-tech companies and entrepreneurs, doing work that would otherwise be done by Eversheds, DLA Piper and Halliwells, for example. We’re very strong on problem-solving and tend to be creative in the way we serve clients – we go where the business is.”
Berg says his lawyers are “not afraid to advise” when other firms tend to be reticent. Berg Legal aims to win clients that are involved in some sort of change, be it restructuring, growing or encountering unforeseen issues.
Recent wins include a property developer, with a niche in social housing, that had been affected by the downturn and was looking for a more imaginative approach. Clients looking to negotiate terms with their banks are often a popular catch.
Berg is keen to sing the praises of Loveday, who he hired after spotting her “exceptional” talent following just two months as a trainee at the firm’s Deansgate offices, qualifying in 1992. Loveday, an employment specialist, was appointed managing partner in 2007 and now has the job of strengthening some lesser-known practices at the firm.
Despite describing itself as a full-service firm, there’s no denying the strong leaning towards litigation at Berg Legal, as Berg is happy to admit. “Our litigation base is a major distinction to other firms in Manchester,” he says.
“However, we’ve also shown we can deal with complex restructuring, so that’s an area we would like to grow in.”
Firm: Berg Legal Senior partner and founder: Reuben Berg Turnover: £4.5m Number of partners: 11 Number of equity partners: Seven Number of lawyers: 25 Number of fee-earners: 30 Number of offices: One Location: Manchester Main practice areas: Corporate and commercial, dispute resolution, commercial property, HR/employment, IP, matrimonial finance Clients: Co-operative Bank, Regatta, Davenham Group, Property Alliance Group, Smart ID, WH Ireland