The hard-hitters were out in force at this year’s LawNet awards, with the winning firms all showcasing strategies that are putting them out in front.
Leading the winners by scooping the Law Firm of the Year Awards were London and South East firm Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP in the 16+ partner category and Bath based Mogers Solicitors LLP taking the award for Law Firm of the Year with up to 15 partners.
Announcing the awards, John Thomas, chief executive of LawNet, the long-standing law firm network for mid-size independent firms, said: “Entrants this year were exceptional, across the country and from very different sized firms. It seems none of our members are waiting for the changes in the sector to hit them – they’re all out there, driving forward new customer-facing initiatives and strengthening their internal processes.”
Matthew Arnold & Baldwin has tripled turnover during the past three years and is just shy of a Top 100 listing on turnover. They’ve already achieved a profit per equity partner ratio that puts them in the Top 20 with a strategy that has seen them develop a national reputation for expertise in investment and retail banking litigation.
Said Clare Stothard, chair of the Matthew Arnold & Baldwin management board: “Winning awards such as this is testament to the stellar efforts of colleagues across the firm. Having put in place an ambitious strategy, with client service and commitment to outstanding legal advice at its heart, we are thrilled to have had our success recognised by LawNet.”
In Bath, Mogers has achieved its best ever annual turnover and net profit, with residential matters up 50%, litigation by nearly 90% and departmental cross referrals up nearly 50%.
The LawNet Mark of Excellence Award went to Midlands-based FBC Manby Bowdler LLP for incorporating the new LawNet Mark of Excellence customer service standard at the heart of a cultural shift within the firm, that has seen them secure a coveted ranking in the national Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Best Use of Technology went to Fidler & Pepper Solicitors for an innovative online solution to tenancy management for landlords, with a simple system for staying legally compliant whilst speeding up action on rent arrears.
Young Lawyer of the Year winner was Judith Rountree of Gardner Leader LLP who is making a name for herself with high level contentious probate work and a strong focus on business development activities for her firm.
Best Use of Social Media went to Ashton KCJ, with a winning strategy that has included Twitter and LinkedIn; Facebook advertising campaigns and YouTube information-style videos, backed up with training for lawyers to help them take part and all delivering tangible results for the firm.
The award for Excellence in Risk Management and Compliance went to Vanderpump & Sykes Solicitors for the second year running, recognising their continuing outstanding performance and approach to quality processes.
Added LawNet’s John Thomas: “Awards recognise the achievements of the firms, whose innovation provides a valuable contribution to the standing of the LawNet network, as well as recognising the staff who are behind these outstanding outcomes.”