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.
For Scottish firm Wright Johnston & Mackenzie (WJM) clients are at the centre of everything it does - so much so that it has developed a strategy it dubs ’ClientCentric’.
According to chief executive Ken McCracken, the approach unshackles the firm’s lawyers from one particular practice area while giving the firm the best chance of servicing clients’ complete legal needs.
“We view the job of lawyers as not just being experts in a particular area of the law, but to help clients in every way we can,” McCracken says.
This, he explains, means that when a client presents themself to the firm as a company director looking for advice on a business transaction, the firm would also profile them as an individual and a representative of an organisation. As such, the firm would see what it could offer in terms of family advice, looking at the generations above and below, as well as the wider business service advice it could offer, such as employment or tax.
While all lawyers sit within one of the firm’s main practice groups, the largest of which is private client followed by employment and disputes, McCracken says the structure has become permeable since the firm adopted its ClientCentric approach.
According to McCracken this has resulted in more work for individual clients than ever. That said, the firm did suffer when the recession hit, with turnover falling in 2008-09 and 2009-10. It also undertook a redundancy round that saw 10 per cent of fee-earners and staff laid off in 2008-09. With turnover standing at £5.1m in the last financial year, the firm is targeting an uplift in the current year and hopes to achieve an optimum profit margin of 40 per cent.
McCracken says that, while WJM is coming to terms with a new economic reality, it is convinced that its new strategy will see it attain its goals.
Firm: Wright Johnston & Mackenzie
Chief executive: Ken McCracken
Number of partners:21
Number of equity partners:11
Number of lawyers:53
Number of fee-earners:60
Number of offices:TwoLocations: Glasgow, Edinburgh
Main practice areas:corporate, commercial dispute resolution, property, private client and family, renewable energy