The firms in the second half of The Lawyer UK200, in association with Thomson Reuters, generated more than £2bn in revenue in 2022/23.

In total, the Independents – those firms ranked between 101 and 200 in the annual ranking of UK law firms by revenue – raked in £2.098bn, up 3 per cent from £2.038bn in 2021/22.

Though dwarfed by the £33.7bn generated by the UK top 100 (which grew by 7 per cent), the report demonstrates the continued importance of the mid-tier to the overall health of the UK legal sector.

New entrants to the 2023 iteration of the ranking include Reeds Solicitors, the highest newcomer at number 186, Essex firm Birkett Long, Gardner Leader of the Thames Valley and City real estate specialist Maples Teesdale, which rounds out the list in 200th place with revenue of £11.1m.

Taylor Vinters makes its final appearance following its merger with Mishcon de Reya, as does defendant insurance firm Plexus Law, which fell to 105th place after collapsing into administration. It was granted a brief reprieve after being acquired by Axiom Ince, but that firm in turn disintegrated into chaos. Meanwhile, the October 2023 merger of Bray & Bray and Rotheras means the newly-created Rothera Bray is likely to enter the rankings for the first time in 2024.

The year-on-year growth in the number of lawyers at the Independents has been on an upward trajectory, surpassing previous figures. According to The Lawyer’s data, the total number of qualified lawyers increased by 3.9 per cent, from 8,637 in 2022 to 8,972 in 2023. This increase is a more significant jump than last year’s, when the total number of lawyers increased by 1.7 per cent, from 8,494 in 2021 to 8,637 in 2022.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is the largest firm in the Independents for lawyer numbers, with 222, while DMH Stallard is top by revenue, posting £38.8m in 2022/23.

Two litigation specialists had an exceptional 2022/23. Peters & Peters’ revenue dropped from £31m to £24m between 2020/21 and 2021/22, but rose 27.1 per cent last year to £30.5m. Its size and disputes-only practice mean that revenue can fluctuate more than at a full-service firm, but it aims for long-term, steady financial growth. Likewise, Signature Litigation achieved a 17.2 per cent increase, from £27.8m to £32.6m. Another winner was Leeds-based Clarion, where revenue was up 17 per cent year-on-year and up 80 per cent over five years.

Conversely, Dickson Minto fell out of the top 100 to 124th place after losing its entire City office to Milbank. It is left with its Edinburgh base, and relaunched in London in July, but its private equity clout is much reduced. So is its revenue: down 50 per cent, the biggest drop of the year.

The full UK200 overview and City 50 reports are now available on The Lawyer’s Signal channels; the Independents ranking can be explored below, while the top 100 can be found here.