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The Legal 500 view

Howard Kennedy, Dentons and Mishcon top the London employment client service score tables as Eversheds leads the way for UK-wide Legal 500 rankings

Howard Kennedy, Dentons and Mishcon de Reya have emerged as some of the firms doing the best job at keeping their London employment clients satisfied, according to new research from The Legal 500 that canvassed the opinions of hundreds of clients.

Howard Kennedy, Dentons and Penningtons Manches Cooper top a table of firms achieving the highest overall client service scores for London employer work, with Mishcon, Shoosmiths and CM Murray among other firms achieving high enough scores to appear within the top ten.

The results reflect the opinions of the hundreds of clients who were surveyed as part of this year’s UK Legal 500 research. Clients were asked to score their advisers’ service across areas such as team quality, value for money and industry knowledge.

Looking only at employer work in London, Howard Kennedy and Edwin Coe are among the top scorers for lawyer and team quality, while Dentons, Mishcon and Shoosmiths fare well for industry knowledge. Penningtons, Shoosmiths and CM Murray score well for value in the eyes of clients.

Moving over to employment work for senior executives in London, Mishcon de Reya, Lewis Silkin and Russell-Cooke come out on top of the overall client service score table, with Mishcon also coming within the top three for industry knowledge and lawyer and team quality.

Harbottle & Lewis, Farore and Kingsley Napley are among those making the best firms for team quality table, with didlaw, Harbottle, Lewis Silkin and Farore among those in the best for industry knowledge list.

On the employee and trade unions side, Leigh Day sweeps the board, coming top for overall client satisfaction, sector knowledge and value for money. Cole Khan, Penningtons, Ronald Fletcher Baker and Rahman Lowe are among other strong performers.

The client service score tables sit apart from The Legal 500 rankings, which qualitatively compare the performance of firms based on their work, their client base and their team.

The 2024 Legal 500 UK rankings are due to be released in October, but looking at last year’s rankings, Eversheds Sutherland holds the highest tally of rankings for employment law UK-wide with 11, closely followed by Shoosmiths with nine rankings.

Pinsent Masons, Irwin Mitchell, Penningtons and DLA Piper are also among the firms to most frequently feature in the rankings across work for employers, senior executives, share schemes and employees/unions.

Eversheds has the most Tier One rankings for employment law UK-wide and also has more ranked lawyers of all levels of seniority and more leading individuals than anyone else. Employment boutique Lewis Silkin is not far behind, with 14 leading individuals, 19 ranked lawyers and five top-tier employment rankings.

Looking only at London, Mishcon de Reya has the most ranked lawyers, narrowly ahead of Lewis Silkin and Herbert Smith Freehills. Five firms are ranked across three of the four core London employment sections (employer, senior executives, employees/unions and employee share schemes): Penningtons Manches Coopers, Mishcon, Stephenson Harwood, Fox Williams and Irwin Mitchell. And five firms have two Tier 1 rankings across the four: Linklaters, Lewis Silkin, Mishcon de Reya, Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith Freehills.