Stephenson Harwood among firms to benefit from revived Aim market

The Aim market has seen a substantial uptick in early 2014, with firms including offshore giant Appleby, Stephenson Harwood and Watson Farley & Williams gaining clients.

According to the latest data collected by Adviser Rankings, March saw 12 new admissions to Aim – an increase of 50 per cent on February’s figures, and twice as many as the number of admissions in January. 

This is reflected in the total number of Aim clients seeking legal advice from the top 20 advisers in the field in terms of volume.

In the third quarter of 2013/14, the top 20 firms had a combined 596 clients on their books. In the period running from 8 January to 7 April 2014, this figure increased to 605. 

Among the beneficiaries of the uptick was Carey Olsen, which increased its total roster of Aim clients from 41 to 43. Stephenson Harwood also saw a rise from 33 to 35, while Appleby’s total jumped from 30 to 33. 

Meanwhile, DLA Piper witnessed one of the largest increases in Aim client market cap, increasing its value from £2.73bn in Q3 2013/14, to £3.79bn in the last quarter.

The two leading firms in this respect – legacy Lawrence Graham, now Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, and Slaughter and May – both saw the market cap of their Aim clients drop in the first few months of 2014. Lawrence Graham’s dropped from £8.57bn to £6.75bn, while Slaughters’ fell from £7.68bn to £6.42bn. 

A number of firms added to their yield of FTSE Aim 100 clients during the quarter, with Addleshaw Goddard, Pinsent Masons, DLA Piper, pre-merger Lawrence Graham, Eversheds and King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin each topping up their total by one. 

Addleshaw Goddard also made a splash in the upper echelons of the Aim market tables, netting the top spot in the quarter’s FTSE Aim UK 50 rankings after a single new client win. 

However, Slaughter and May maintained its dominance in terms of market cap. The firm’s three Aim UK 50 clients – ASOS, Songbird Estates and Young & Co’s Brewery – recorded a combined market cap of £6.14bn. The figure is significantly higher than that of its closest competitor Lawrence Graham, whose clients boast a market cap of just £3.85bn.

Adviser Rankings’ Aim tables Q4 2013/14
         
Total Aim Clients      
         
Rank April ’14 Rank Jan ’14 Firm Clients April ’14 Clients Jan ’14
1 1 Pinsent Masons 53 53
2 2 Memery Crystal 44 44
3 3 Carey Olsen 43 41
4 4 Lawrence Graham 35 38
4 6 Stephenson Harwood 35 33
6 6 DLA Piper 34 33
7 9 Appleby 33 30
7 6 Field Fisher Waterhouse 33 33
7 5 Kerman & Co 33 34
10 9 Fasken Martineau 31 30
11 12 Eversheds 27 26
12 11 Norton Rose Fulbright 26 27
12 14 Osborne Clarke 26 24
14 12 Berwin Leighton Paisner 25 26
15 16 Watson, Farley & Williams 23 21
16 16 Fladgate 22 21
17 16 Gowlings 21 21
17 15 Travers Smith 21 22
19 20 DWF 20 19
19 18 K&L Gates 20 20
         
FTSE Aim 100 Clients      
         
Rank April ’14 Rank Jan ’14 Firm Clients April ’14 Clients Jan ’14
1 1 Addleshaw Goddard 7 6
1 1 Pinsent Masons 7 6
3 3 DLA Piper 6 5
3 3 Lawrence Graham 6 5
5 6 Eversheds 5 4
6 11 King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin 4 3
6 6 Mayer Brown 4 4
6 11 Slaughter and May 4 3
6 6 Olswang 4 4
6 3 Osborne Clarke 4 5
11 11 Bird & Bird 3 3
11 6 Carey Olsen 3 4
11 11 Conyers Dill & Pearman 3 3
11 X Covington & Burling 3 X
11 11 Herbert Smith Freehills 3 3
11 X Stephenson Harwood 3 X
         
FTSE Aim UK 50 Clients      
         
Rank April ’14 Rank Jan ’14 Firm Clients April ’14 Clients Jan ’14
1 2 Addleshaw Goddard 5 4
2 1 Osborne Clarke 4 5
3 3 Bird & Bird 3 3
3 6 Eversheds 3 2
3 6 Olswang 3 2
3 3 Pinsent Masons 3 3
3 3 Slaughter and May 3 3
8 6 Ashurst 2 2
8 6 DWF 2 2
8 6 Herbert Smith Freehills 2 2
8 6 Mayer Brown 2 2
8 6 Morrison & Foerster 2 2