I am delighted by the commendation Bond Dickinson has received in the latest Legal 500 and for the recognition of our scale and expertise in the North East.
Our firm, the largest in the region, is the only law firm to be ranked in the 2016 North East Top 200 companies and these outstanding results are testament to the excellent work put in by all of our people.
Legal 500 recognised us as being “a standout firm” with “an approach that is unmatched in the region”.
We are extremely grateful for the support provided by our business partners and loyal clients; without them we would not have been able to achieve such tremendous rankings.
These testimonials are further evidence of the quality service our team strive to deliver on a consistent basis to clients in the region and beyond.
We also received 94 individual recommendations – confirmation of the hard work and dedication given to deliver successful and meaningful relationships with our clients.
Other key achievements include: our private wealth team, regarded as “first-rate in the North” and noted for providing a “first-class legal service”; the charities team, recognised as “responsive, knowledgeable and stand-out” and our Newcastle-based real estate practice described as “second-to-none” for “going above and beyond to achieve exactly what the client wants”.
Our corporate team continues to be “unmatched in the region”, with the team praised for its “excellent legal advice”.
This caps another memorable year for the team who have demonstrated commitment, drive and heavyweight legal expertise.
Last month, the team was also awarded ‘Deal of the Year’ by Insider at the North East Dealmaker Awards, for the second consecutive year. This was for their work on the £350m Science Central joint venture.
Other strong performances include the dispute resolution practice with a team of “incredibly effective litigators”.
Our public sector team commended as a “primary choice in the region” while the “excellent” pensions team is “always on top of all issues” and provides “consistently timely and knowledgeable advice”.
The pensions team continues to serve a large and wide ranging set of clients from the region including IBM, Taylor Wimpey, Bellway and Northern Powergrid.
The firm’s commitment to growing a strong workforce continues. Seven of our Newcastle lawyers have been recognised by Legal 500 as “next generation lawyers”. This follows on from seven Newcastle based solicitors being promoted to associate in May.
More recently, we also welcomed three new solicitor apprentices in the region, recruited through the firm’s apprenticeship scheme run by City University London and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) Law School.
Our Newcastle office and people are also consistently recognised at a national level. Our Newcastle-based transport team sits “top of the class nationally”, while in property litigation we were recognised for “being one of the best teams outside London”.
Effective from 1 November, we will combine with Womble Carlyle to become Womble Bond Dickinson.
The firm will have more than 420 partners and 1,000 lawyers across eight offices in the UK and 16 offices in the US.
The combination will put Womble Bond Dickinson in the UK’s top 20 law firms and in the top 80 in the US listings.
Womble Bond Dickinson will provide an enviable transatlantic platform for further local, regional and international growth.
It will also enable us to focus on bringing richer prospects to the region, advising regional businesses on US operations and export opportunities through our transatlantic scale and expertise.
We are proud of our heritage in the North East, and the active role we play in the local business community.
Through our success and the depth of expertise we offer, we will continue to help our clients thrive and prosper in a rapidly changing world as we move to the next exciting phase of the firm.
By Kevin Robertson, partner and head of office, Bond Dickinson LLP