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.
Bill Gornall-King is practice development partner at Boyes, Turner & Burrow.
Away from London, there has been a build-up of large, modern multi-site practices. Usually competing with City players in terms of skills, they have a clear cost and convenience advantage.
During the early 1980s, attracted by lower rents and good communications, many large companies moved to Reading, followed by the major accountants. These exploited the lack of a high-level local infrastructure, and legal services seemed set to follow. Yet, although several London firms have tried, few have succeeded.
There are several reasons for this. First, local practices concentrated on building up their commercial expertise in the 1980s and emphasised price and value. Also there has been a clear rejection of the high degree of specialisation imposed by larger London firms. Finally, many regional firms have focused the evolution of their own business activity.
The result is a highly competitive region which is well set to make further gains.