IBB Solicitors” />Managing partner: Steven Booth
Total number of partners: 26
Total number of fee-earners: 100
Main practice areas: Commercial, community legal services and private client
Key clients: Bellway Homes, Frontier Estates, Norwich Union, Renault Retail and Renault UK
Number of offices: Five
Locations: Chesham, Ingatestone and Uxbridge
“We’re very fortunate that we’re based where we are,” says Steven Booth, managing partner at IBB solicitors. “We’re just north of Heathrow Airport and close to the M25, M40 and M4.
“Obviously, Heathrow’s a major engine for growth and economic prosperity in this area, and there are a lot of very significant businesses within a short radius.”
The lawyer calls IBB “the biggest and most focused provider in the area”. It was ranked fifteenth in The Lawyer Rising 50 last year.
“Our strategic aspiration is to become a leading regional law firm,” says Booth. “I think we’ve gone beyond the local firm and, with our client base and turnover, we can’t see ourselves as a local firm. We’re a regional player.”
He points out that a number of his firm’s big-name clients – the likes of AIB Group, Sita and Hasbro – have bases close to Heathrow.
“They’ve all got major headquarter operations in and around Uxbridge and we specifically target those companies and provide services for them,” says Booth.
The firm runs its own in-house counsel club, where it organises seminars on legal issues for local businesses and their lawyers.
“They come to our offices, sit down, have a glass of wine and pick up a few CPD [continuing professional development] points,” says Booth. “As one of the lawyers said recently, ‘It beats the hell out of travelling 15 miles to a firm in the City and doing exactly the same thing there’.”
The firm was established in its present form through a merger between Booth’s own firm, Booth Bennett, which was set up in 1985, and Iliffes, a private client firm with offices in Central London and Chesham, which dated back to 1775.
“Booth Bennett wanted some grey hair and the high-net-worth private client base and Iliffes wanted management structure, focus and succession,” says Booth. “The two firms gelled immediately.”
When they first tied the knot their turnover was £4m; Booth says the combined firm is now on course for £13.5m in revenue next year.
In terms of revenue, the main practice areas are commercial (37 per cent), private client (28 per cent) and community legal services (35 per cent).
A major focus for the firm is building its commercial sector. “We’re having a lot of success recruiting from out of the City,” reports Booth. He says the firm’s policy is to grow “from the top down”.
Booth says that one of IBB’s selling points is that it provides a “properly leveraged” service. “So you’re not paying for partners that you don’t need, but also our service is partner-led,” he continues.
“We find that many lawyers working in the City, when they reach their mid-30s and early 40s, begin to have families and kids and say to themselves that they can do the same type of work here. It becomes a real quality of life issue for them.”