<a class=Capsticks” />Founded 26 years ago from the ashes of a former NHS in-house department, Capsticks is probably enjoying 2008 more than many other firms.

The Putney-headquartered firm has grown its ­workbook of NHS trusts to include many private ­sector companies and is this year confidently bucking the general market trend with plenty of planned growth ahead.

Senior partner Peter Edwards has been at the firm for 20 of those years, and after seeing the firm “fly below the radar” for many years is more than keen to discuss its progress.

After leaping straight into the UK 200 mid-table with a turnover of £19.5m last year, Capsticks is ­pursuing a jump in growth from 25 per cent in ­revenue over the past five years to a predicted 25 per cent growth each year until at least 2010.

“It’s been quite a journey. There were four lawyers when I joined and now there are 114,” says Edwards. “Over the past 10 years our work has changed – healthcare organisations are now large commercial entities and have a full range of legal needs.”

Unsurprisingly, the firm counts litigation as its main earner, accounting for 41 per cent of revenue. But where it would have been the sole income-provider when Edwards joined, the firm now counts property at 16 per cent and corporate at 14 per cent, revealing the changing face of the ­healthcare market.

Evidence of this expansion was seen recently when the London firm opened up an office in Birmingham after winning 10 places on the Government’s Birmingham healthcare procurement consortium panel.

“We’re in a serious boom time,” adds Edwards, in what could be the most positive statement from a lawyer you will hear all year.