West End firm Fladgate showed its confidence for the future with the decision this year to into a new office for the first time in its 248-year history. It will take on an extra 10,000ft of space in Great Queen Street.

With steady, if unspectacular, financial results for 2007/08, the firm has every reason to be upbeat. Turnover was up six per cent, from £25.5m to £27.1m, while PEP increased from £610,000 to £618,000.

Corporate was the single largest contributor after a strong year, making up 45 per cent of revenues. Understandably, given conditions in the property markets, the real estate practice struggled – its revenue share fell from 40 to 35 per cent.

The firm counts a number of wealthy individuals as clients, although it does not have a private client practice as such, with instructions for tax, litigation and property lawyers. It also benefits from referral relationships with law firms in other countries, and despite have no overseas offices, runs foreign desks staffed by specialists on India, Germany, Israel, the US and the Middle East. Some 30 per cent of its turnover is sourced abroad.

The partnership path is divided into four stages. Members join as salary partners before being awarded a tiny equity share when the become junior equity partners.

Equity partners receive 80 per cent of pay in the form of fixed share, and 20 per cent from the equity pool. Full equity partners, of which there are 14, are paid entirely from firm profits.