Osborne Clarke’s Ray Berg has earned another four years in charge of the firm, retaining his role as UK managing partner.
Berg ran unopposed to claim victory, meaning he will now be in the position until 2022. His first term began in 2015 when he replaced Simon Beswick, who had managed the firm for 12 years.
A former head of Osborne Clarke’s business transactions group, Berg has overseen revenue growth in the UK of over 40 per cent from £96.5m to just shy of £140m. In the 2017/18, the firm enjoyed its fifth consecutive year of double-digit revenue growth and is understood to have awarded a 5 per cent bonus to staff.
Berg has been focusing particularly on improving culture within Osborne Clarke, adding that the firm relaunched its wellbeing programme this year which includes training people on mental health awareness.
Technology has also formed a key part of Berg’s mantra, with Osborne Clarke setting up an R&D budget specifically aimed at technology-related innovation. The budget was introduced at the start of the 2016/17 financial year, along with other initiatives that included the creation of a standalone innovation project team and the introduction of IT skills assessments of its lawyers as part of the process for promotion from associate to senior associate.
Speaking to The Lawyer, Berg said: “There’s a sense here that we’ll be handing the firm over to the next leader. We’re at that point of change in which tech is disrupting lives generally. The clients and its people need to have a law firm that is prepared for these developments.”
Berg’s reappointment means the firm has seen little change at the top in recent years, as senior partner Andrew Saul was also re-elected last year. He, like Berg, gained another four years in the role.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Hoyland has won a third term as managing partner of Simmons & Simmons, his next four-year stint beginning in May 2019. He was first elected as managing partner in May 2011. Hoyland said: “My focus now will be on driving Simmons & Simmons’ creativity and adaptability and further embedding our sector approach that we know is so important to our clients. The firm I know is bold and agile and these are going to be key attributes in dealing with the uncertainty in the months and years ahead.”