Management Partner of the Year
The winner of this award will be a UK-based managing partner, senior partner, head of chambers, chief executive or chief operating officer who has truly led the way for their business in 2019. Key factors influencing our judging panel include market profile, outstanding strategic thinking, superb communication skills and the extent to which individuals have the support of staff and clients in driving the firm’s business forward.
Announcing the winner 2 October 2020
Paul Jenkins, Ashurst
Re-appointed as global managing partner for a second four-year term last summer, Jenkins has been credited with masterminding Ashurst’s recent resurgence. Double-digit revenue and PEP growth for 2018/19 was Ashurst’s third consecutive year of growth following two years of decline post-merger and Jenkins’ commitment and drive have combined to establish an impressive track record so far.
Charles Martin, Macfarlanes
Macfarlanes remains one of the most successful and profitable operators in the City, which is largely thanks to the outstanding leadership of senior partner Martin over the last 12 years. As the firm sees new leadership take over in April, it should acknowledge the contribution of Martin’s cool head at a time when many rivals were losing theirs. A class act.
David Pester, TLT
Next month will see one of the UK’s most successful and longstanding law firm leaders step down. Since Pester was elected managing partner in 2001 following the merger of Trumps and Lawrence Tucketts to form TLT, revenue has grown from just £8m to £87.6m, while the firm has opened six new offices and increased in size to more than 1,000 staff.
Lee Ranson, Eversheds Sutherland
While Eversheds has had its fair share of successful and charismatic leaders over the years, Ranson has driven the firm during one of its most progressive phases since being elected in 2016. Financial performance has been strong since its transformative tie-up with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, while the spin-off of alternative service Konexo in 2019 was the latest strategic masterstroke.
Michael Ward, Gateley
Ward hangs up his boots in May after more than 30 years at Gateley, having achieved more than most law firm leaders possibly could. While remaining a shareholder in the UK’s first-ever listed law firm, Ward hands over a firm that has gone from a third-tier Birmingham outfit to a £100m national player via a tie-up in Scotland and a stock market listing.
Previous Winners / Nominees
In revenue growth terms, far and away the top-performing firm in the 26-50 bracket of the LB100 was Kennedys, which recorded a 31% rise in global turnover and 14% for UK income. Thomas, who was re-elected to serve a fifth five-year term as senior partner to run from 2017, has overseen some significant expansion, with revenues growing 68% over the past five years.
Richard Crump HIGHLY COMMENDED
When Crump was first elected senior partner in May 2007, Holman Fenwick Willan was a 240-lawyer shipping firm with just eight offices around the world. Barely a decade later, HFW is a thriving, multi-sector business with more than 600 lawyers and 20 offices across five continents. The firm’s revenue has almost tripled during his leadership, increasing from £67.7m to £179.1m.
In 2018 OC elected its UK managing partner Berg to a second term in a glowing endorsement of the firm’s growth since his first term began in 2015. The most recent financial results confirmed a five-year average of double-digit revenue growth, as global turnover rose 14% to €273m: it has increased 112% since 2013, making OC one of the top performers in the LB100 over that time.
Chris Hale/David Patient
Managing partner David Patient and senior partner Chris Hale formed an experienced duo at the helm of Travers Smith during arguably its most successful period, with the former in place since 2015 and the latter since 2013. For Travers, 2017/18 was its ninth consecutive year of growth, yielding an 18% uptick in turnover to £146.9m and a 24% surge in profit per equity partner to £1.2m.
Clyde & Co
Consistently cited as a much-needed business-savvy leader since becoming a non-lawyer chief executive, Hasson has played a crucial role in developing the firm since 1997. He has ensured Clydes has been a commercial success despite considerable market headwinds – the 2017/18 turnover of £551.3m means the firm’s revenue has grown by nearly 200% on a ten-year track.
In 2018 Rodney stepped down as chairman and figurehead of a firm he shaped into a Scottish business leader over a 12-year period. During that time, he led Burness through a transformative merger with Aberdeen’s Paull & Williamsons, which redefined the Caledonian top tier and placed his firm as one of the three leading independents in a highly competitive market.