Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co
Clyde & Co
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
No. of offices 23 in 15 countries
No. of lawyers 574
Major practice areas General practice
Revenue increase £212 million (2011)[1]
Date founded 1933
Company type Limited liability partnership
Website
www.clydeco.com

Clyde & Co[2] is an international law firm which works worldwide across 120 countries. The firm's work is cross-border, high profile and complex. The firm employs nearly 700 fee-earners in 23 offices across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North, Latin America and Africa who are qualified in 17 jurisdictions and fluent in over 37 languages.

The firm has expanded rapidly in recent years and is a key player in the aviation, insurance and reinsurance, international trade and energy and shipping sectors.

According to The Lawyer magazine, in 2007 Clyde & Co was the 20th biggest law firm in the Lawyer UK 200[3] with a turnover of £135m. In 2005 The Lawyer ranked Clyde & Co as the 36th largest law firm in the Lawyer Euro 100.[4]

Contents

Main areas of practice

The firm specialises in the following areas:

Firm history

Clyde & Co was founded by Richard Arthur Clyde, a Scot who took the high road to England. He came from a distinguished Scottish legal family, which in the last 120 years has produced three Lords President of the Court of Session, the most recent of whom also became a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, a position from which he retired only in 2001.

The earliest record of Dick Clyde as a solicitor in independent practice, dates from 1928, although it was in 1933 that having left his position as an assistant solicitor with a well known firm of City marine lawyers, he set up his own office in Lime Street in the heart of the insurance district of the City of London. He managed to attract instructions from Lloyd's Underwriters and insurance companies, and within a short time went into partnership with Maurice Hill, a member of the founding family of the Liverpool solicitors Hill Dickinson & Co, and a descendant of Sir Rowland Hill who had established the penny post.

World War II

The firm remained small, comprising only the two partners and their two young clerks. At the outbreak of war in 1939, the partners realised that the firm could not continue, so they handed their practice to Hill Dickinson & Co to look after 'for the duration'. One clerk went into the army, Clyde and the other clerk to the office of the Treasury Solicitor, and Hill to the RAF to help run a bomber base in Lincolnshire.

When they all returned in 1945, fortunately unscathed, it was to a partially bombed office in Gracechurch Street without a back wall. They were soon joined by Gordon Blacker, who miraculously had survived a long tour of duty as an RAF bomber pilot, and who had thus met Maurice Hill.

Post-war success

The firm progressed quietly but steadily in the post-war years. Dick Clyde was instrumental in persuading a wealthy client to found St Anthony's College at Oxford, and he played a prominent part in the process. In 1953 Michael Wilford became Dick Clyde's articled clerk. He remained with the firm until 2001, and is the author of the leading text book on the law of Time Charters, and series editor to Lloyd's Shipping Law Library.

Expansion into Guildford

Clyde retired in 1959, and established himself as one of the City's most prominent maritime arbitrators, in which he continued until his death in 1975.

He was succeeded as Senior Partner by Maurice Hill. During Hill's time, office rents in the City of London reached the then dizzy heights of 17 shillings and 6 pence (87.5p) per square foot. In 1969 the partners therefore decided to move what would now be called 'back office' functions and two partners to Guildford, thus founding what has become the firm's second largest office, now offering to international, national, and local clients a very wide range of legal services.

1977 fire

Maurice Hill died in office in 1971, and Gordon Blacker became Senior Partner, a post he was to hold for thirteen years. Blacker was a man of immense drive and vision, and under his leadership the firm embarked on a process of expansion which led to it doubling in size every five years. Even a serious fire which in 1977 severely damaged the London office did not hinder the process.

Diversification and international expansion

Reflecting the firm's international outlook, in 1981 the first overseas office was opened in Hong Kong; others have since followed.

Gordon Blacker retired in 1984, and was succeeded by the present Senior Partner, Michael Payton, who had joined the firm in 1966. He, too, led a process not only of expansion but also of diversification. In particular, he brought into the firm its first non-contentious company lawyers, thus broadening the scope of the practice from its previous concentration on marine and insurance litigation.

Under Michael Payton's leadership, the firm has continued to grow, to diversify its practice areas, and to open new offices overseas.

References

  1. ^ "Clydes breaches £200m turnover barrier". The Lawyer. 23 May 2011. http://www.thelawyer.com/clydes-breaches-%C2%A3200m-turnover-barrier/1008025.article. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  2. ^ www.clydeco.com
  3. ^ The Lawyer UK 200
  4. ^ The Lawyer Euro 100

External links

See also


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