With a target turnover of £25m by 2010, South East firm ASB Law wants to reverse the downward trend in its turnover figures.
At the 2006-2007 year-end, the firm posted revenue of £17.1m – down from £17.6m the previous year.
Managing partner Andrew Clinton expects there to be a dramatic turnaround at the end of this financial year, with the firm anticipating a 10 per cent rise in turnover.
“It will be great after last year,” says Clinton. “We went through a strategic reorganisation.”
ASB revised its model to set out strategic objectives for the next three years. The reorganisation saw the firm increase its focus on the growth of its niche commercial areas: aviation, insurance and IT, and corporate finance.
The aviation team has undergone significant growth since the firm appointed aviation law expert Humphrey Dawson as a consultant in 2004. Clinton says Dawson’s contacts have helped the firm win a series of new clients and underpinned the growth of the commercial practice.
The corporate finance practice is in the middle of a boom, with 25 deals to complete by the end of April. Clinton says this is in part down to the changes in capital gains tax law which will be implemented in April.
The firm’s family practice is seeing 25 per cent year-on-year growth. As part of the strategic review, the firm decided to move away from legal aid work to target high net-worth clients. This includes advising family business clients.
The firm has also reorganised how partners target new clients. “Each partner has five existing clients with a revenue target against those clients,” explains Clinton. “They also have a pipeline of prospects which they have to target.”
ASB’s lawyers are also encouraged to develop a greater understanding of the business areas they practise in. “We want our lawyers to be able talk about the wider economy,” says Clinton. “They need to go in to meet clients as somebody who knows their business.”
Networking is seen as a key method of winning new clients, particularly in the aviation sector. Trainees and associates are given coaching to help develop networking skills, and the firm takes referrals from an international network of lawyers.
ASB’s client list is extensive, including insurance broker consolidator Towergate – a company which has made 143 acquisitions since its formation in 1997.
Clinton is keen to develop this client base and sees it as key to achieving the £25m target that ASB has set.
Managing partner: Andrew Clinton
Number of partners: 35
Main practice areas: Commercial, commercial property, corporate finance, employment, insurance, litigation, private client, recovery and insolvency
Key clients: Baker Tilly, Fuji Seal, HSBC, London Borough of Wandsworth, Towergate, TUI Travel Group (First Choice)
Number of offices: Four
Location: Brighton, Crawley, Horsham, Maidstone