Pinsent Masons (Birmingham)
In 2004 Pinsents teamed up with construction specialist Masons to help it make a bigger splash on the national scene. Birmingham, which had always been the powerhouse of legacy firm Pinsent & Co, has now been supplanted by London (which accounts for more than 40% or the firm's global turnover). But it's still one of the leading firms in the city and extremely profitable.
Pinsents had already staked its claim on the Birmingham market by taking over the former Garrett's Birmingham office, adding some useful, instant bulk. It then re-organised themselves into six core client sectors (financial institutions, manufacturing etc), abandoning the more traditional practice area approach and instead focusing on high value work. Though not many firms focus on low-value work, to be fair.
And it worked. Turnover across the firm is now at £205million for 2009/10, with equity partners pulling in an average of £410,000 - a good chunck more than arch-rivals Wragge & Co. The money seems to be trickling down to the troops as well. Trainees can get a £5,000 bonus on qualification, and associates get £10,000 if they bill 1950 hours.
Which may not be entirely easy: insiders report that associates have to work hard but are far from beasted. The firm's London office may have 24 hour secretarial support, but there's nothing so undignified in Birmingham. Associates say that while the firm may be "a little stuck in the past" it's "supportive and friendly" which promotes from within (some ten partners made up over the last three years) and does quality work. "This is no monkey regional firm".
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