Wragges tops 10-year Aim list as focus changes for Eversheds and Fieldfisher

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co has won more new Aim clients than any other firm in the last 10 years, while DLA Piper, Eversheds and Fieldfisher have all seen their Aim mandates drop.

According to Adviser Rankings, Wragges had 25 Aim clients in 2005 but the number has now jumped to 60, with a market cap of £6bn. The increase in client numbers has seen the firm jump to the top of the table, ahead of second placed Pinsent Masons and new entrant Carey Olsen.

Wragges topped the rankings for the first time late last year, ahead of its 2016 merger with Canadian firm Gowlings. Its Aim clients include ASOS, Dolphin Capital, Eurasia Mining, Terra Capital and Young & Co’s Brewery.

However, its Aim push has sent 2005 leader Eversheds to joint tenth position, putting it alongside Charles Russell Speechlys, Fieldfisher and Norton Rose Fulbright. Eversheds has 28 Aim clients compared to 43 10 years ago, although their market capitalisation has risen from £1.2bn to £3.3bn.

“We want to be as high up on the list as possible, but we’re also looking more to the main market than we were before,” said one Eversheds partner. “This doesn’t mean we’re neglecting Aim, as our market capitalisation is still very high and we want to develop our principal relationships with our clients.”

Fieldfisher meanwhile also lost 10 Aim clients, seeing it drop from fourth to tenth place. According to Adviser Rankings, Fieldfisher has lost several clients since April 2015, including Atalaya Mining, Jersey Oil & Gas and M&L Property & Assets.

“We’re focusing on acting for fewer companies than we were before, who tend to do the larger projects,” said one Fieldfisher partner. “Back in 2005, we were working with smaller tech start-ups but they didn’t do too much work once they had been set-up. So we’ve been looking to develop our relationships with investment bankers and brokers and are looking to them as a source of work.”

Number of Aim clients

Rank ’15 Rank ’05 Law firm Nov ’15 Nov ’05
1 10 Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co 60 25
2 2 Pinsent Masons 59 41
3 NA Carey Olsen 41 4
3 7 Memery Crystal 41 35
5 2 DLA Piper 38 41
6 NA Kerman & Co 37 11
7 8 Berwin Leighton Paisner 32 30
8 NA Appleby 31 1
9 NA Stephenson Harwood 29 5
10 10 Charles Russell Speechlys 28 25
10 1 Eversheds 28 43
10 4 Fieldfisher 28 38
10 6 Norton Rose Fulbright 28 36

In the last decade, a number of new entrants, such as Kerman & Co, Appleby and Stephenson Harwood, have entered into the Aim adviser rankings, pushing Eversheds, Fieldfisher and DLA Piper down the table.

Carey Olsen saw its client base rise from four to 41, with Appleby jumping from one to 31. In the last ten years, Stephenson Harwood has also increased its number of Aim clients from five to 29, while DWF is one of the biggest jumpers from zero to 25.

Although 2005 runner up DLA Piper fell to fifth place in the Aim rankings, it debuted in the FTSE 100 client list in 18th position. It is just one of the firms that has shifted its focus from Aim to FTSE, with Fieldfisher also debuting in the FTSE 100 rankings and Eversheds moving up one place to eighth in the FTSE 100 client list, as well as two places according to FTSE 250 client numbers.

Number of FTSE 250 clients

Rank ’15 Rank ’05 Law firm Nov ’15 Nov ’05
1 1 Slaughter and May 41 39
2 4 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 29 28
3 3 Linklaters 28 30
4 6 Allen & Overy 22 16
5 5 Herbert Smith Freehillds 20 18
6 2 Ashurst 17 32
7 9 Eversheds 16 11
7 9 Pinsent Masons 16 11
9 11 Dickson Minto 14 8
10 8 Norton Rose Fulbright 13 12

Slaughters continues to lead the FTSE 100 and 250 client list, although the market capitalisation of its FTSE 100 clients lags behind leaders Linklaters. The market cap of Linklaters’ 30 FTSE 100 clients stands at £716.8bn compared to Slaughters’ 33 clients who have a market capitalisation of £510.3bn.

Number of FTSE 100 clients

Rank ’15 Rank ’05 Law firm Nov ’15 Nov ’05
1 1 Slaughter and May 33 30
2 2 Linklaters 30 20
3 4 Allen & Overy 25 17
4 3 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 24 19
5 5 Herbert Smith Freehills 18 10
6 9 Clifford Chance 11 5
7 6 Ashurst 10 9
8 9 Eversheds 7 5
8 7 Addleshaw Goddard 7 6
10 14 CMS Cameron McKenna 5 2
10 12 Hogan Lovells 5 3
10 14 Norton Rose Fulbright 5 2
10 NA Osborne Clarke 5 NA

Meanwhile Clifford Chance is the only magic circle not to feature in one of the top five positions of the FTSE 100 or 250 client rankings. The firm instead dropped from seventh place in 2005 with 14 FTSE 250 clients to sixteenth place this year when the number of its clients halved. In the last 10 years, it has doubled the number of FTSE 100 companies it acts for, moving up three places to sixth place.