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.
Regional insurance firm Berrymans Lace Mawer has signed a commercial agreement with 14-partner City firm Druces & Attlee in a bid to provide its clients with a wider portfolio of legal services.`The formal agreement is the first of its kind for Berrymans, which lost more than half of its Liverpool-based commercial department to rival North West firm Brabner Holden Banks Wilson seven months ago. It is believed that the relationship may lead to further link-ups in a bid to create a nationwide network of alliances.`Berrymans senior partner Paul Taylor insisted that the agreement is not a pre-requisite to merger, at least at this stage. "We work well as separate units and both have core skills. But this is a long-term arrangement so who knows what will happen."`In 1997, Berrymans merged with Lace Mawer to create the largest insurance firm in the UK. Sources suggest that since then the commercial practice has been sidelined.`Taylor said: "It's very difficult to grow organically to develop a commercial team, it takes time and investment. This way, clients are offered an immediate quality service from a City firm but at provincial prices."`Richard Monkcom, a member of the Druces management board, described the deal as a "referral arrangement".`The relationship began as a result of the locality of the two firms within Berrymans' London office - Berrymans is on the fourth floor and Druces is on the second.`"When I read about the Liverpool departure I called Paul to ask how we could assist," said Monkcom. "This deal allows Berrymans to provide a full service while maintaining an insurance-based practice."`Druces believes that it will be able to service all of Berrymans' clients throughout the country. Monkcom said: "Berrymans has commercial clients who need commercial advice. The legal market is quite mobile these days and people will instruct solicitors wherever they are."`Monkcom acknowledged that clients in Liverpool may not want to consult a firm in London and admitted that Druces' relationship with Berrymans is principally with the City office.