UK top 200 ranking: 137
The year 2011–12 was one to remember for Collyer Bristow. Despite having two significant professional negligence claims brought against it, the London-based firm posted a 3 per cent increase in turnover to £15.2m, with senior partner John Saner attributing the results to a good spread of work.
The financial impact of one of the claims (for £50m by Innovator One over tax-efficient savings schemes), which the firm defeated in May 2012, was minimal, with the firm lodging an indemnity costs claim against the 555 claimants at the end of last year. The second claim, concerning the administration of Rangers Football Club, is ongoing.
The financial collapse of Rangers FC put the club’s relationships with its professional advisers, including Collyer Bristow and former partner Gary Withey, in the public eye. Withey quit the firm in March after he became embroiled in the Glasgow club’s administration because he had advised businessman Craig Whyte on his takeover of the club in 2011. At the time of writing Collyer Bristow stood accused of “deliberate deception” over Whyte’s doomed bid for the club, but the firm said it would vigorously defend the claims.
In terms of practice area, property saw the most significant rise in turnover during 2011–12, contributing 23 per cent of last year’s total, 10 per cent more than the previous year. International work continues to be a significant area of focus at the firm, which also has an office in Geneva. For 2011–12 the proportion of international revenue was static at 30 per cent.
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Overview4 Bedford Row
Turnover (£m): 15.2
Total lawyers: 57