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EXCLUSIVE: eprivateclient's 2016 Top 25 Family Law Firms revealed

06/06/2016 Will Sidery

Today marks the launch of the latest in eprivateclient’s Top 25 series – the 2016 Top 25 Family Law Firms. Complimenting the existing Top 25s – Law Firms, Trust Companies, Accountancy Firms and Residential Property Buyers – the Top 25 Family Law Firms’ aims to recognize and acknowledge the leading firms in the sector.

Family law encompasses a wide range of areas of advice from child protection, family governance, pre-nups, divorce to protection of the elderly. The advice and guidance that private clients receive in these situations needs, as a consequence, to be of the highest quality and that level of expertise and client care is evident amongst this year’s Top 25 firms.

As with the existing rankings, the Top 25 Family Law Firms is based on a survey of law firms throughout the UK. The Top 25 have been selected on the basis of the most thorough assessment of ten factors of which five key criteria are published in the rankings.

The published data includes the number of family law partners, the number of family law fee earners, total family law staff, fee income and family law fee income as a percentage of total firm-wide income (where applicable). Where firms did not provide data eprivateclient used its market knowledge to make estimates, which are clearly marked.

The data shows a sector in good health with total fee income across the Top 25 standing at £131.8 million – an average of £5.27 million per firm. The firm that reported the highest fee income was – unsurprisingly – one of the larger international firms, Withers, whose family team contributed £16.5 million in fee income in 2015 (around five percent of total firm income).

Across the Top 25 the percentage of total firm income differed dramatically. Whilst there are eight ‘pure’ family law firms with fee income of 100 percent within the list, the remaining 17 firms returned percentages of between four and 37 percent (a mean average of 12.9 percent across the 17), suggesting that family law – and private client work – still remains something of a niche at certain firms. 

Total partner numbers for the Top 25 stands at 175 this year (average of seven per firm) with the most recorded, 14, at Charles Russell Speechlys, whilst three firms had three partners each. 

The number of fee earners is 452 (average of 18 per firm) with the highest recorded number standing at 39 for Irwin Mitchell. Total staff across the Top 25 is 832 (average of 33 per firm) with Irwin Mitchell again recording the highest number at 69 staff.

To see the ranking please click here.

The eprivateclient Top 25 Family Law Firms 2016 is kindly sponsored by Close Brothers Asset Management.

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