Cultural integrity and a move upmarket sees RPC named Firm of the Year

New-look RPC takes glittering prize

Scooping Law Firm of the Year at last week’s The Lawyer Awards closes a period of financial and strategic transformation for RPC.

The firm, which was runner-up in the same category last year, has maintained a strategy of steady growth in the past few years.

It has been working to gradually exit the lower value, higher volume insurance market and take a greater share of the prized high-value work from its bigger competitors.

Unlike its peers RPC has not taken the acquisitive route. There has been measured expansion, with openings in Singapore in 2011, Bristol in 2012 and Hong Kong later the same year.

But RPC has sought to retain its culture by growing via lateral hires. About half of the partnership has been recruited in the past five years.

The idea is to remain true to a culture that values personal relationships, both internally among staff and partners and externally in its dealing with clients.

RPC has been cementing its ‘people first’ philosophy by making changes to its remuneration structure. It still has a full-equity partnership but the route from NQ to partner is now meritocratic.

Earlier this year managing partner Jonathan Watmough said RPC was moving from a learning phase to a growth phase, perhaps hinting that it might employ growth strategies seen elsewhere in the market.

Other winners included Schillings as inaugural ABS of the Year and Jones Day as International Firm of the Year.

The Lawyer Awards is brought to you in association with Travelers