Rising 25: tales of success and woe from the law firms outside the UK top 50
Sitting just off junction nine of the M27 between Southampton and Portsmouth is the unglamorous Segensworth business park, where for the last two years Blake Lapthorn - the 60th largest law firm in the UK - has paid £450,000 to rent vacant office space. When the firm moved into New Kings Court on the outskirts of Southampton as part of a consolidation following a series of mergers, managing partner Walter Cha thought he would be able to sublet the space. But unsurprisingly, he hadn't counted on a global banking crisis and the subsequent recession. It was costs such as these that saw Blake Lapthorn's profit per equity partner (PEP) fall to just £65,000 in its 2008-09 year. Although this figure has since risen to £116,000, it is still well short of the UK top 51-75 law firm peer group average of £276,000.
The turbulent market for mid-tier practices propels some firms to glory while punishing the flat-footed and unlucky. Alex Aldridge tells the tales of success and woe from firms outside of the UK top 50
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