In 2007 Davies Wallis Foyster, as it was then known, was plying its trade in the North-West as a humble four-office practice in Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Leeds. However, over the last decade the new, improved DWF has beefed up considerably and is now based in 16 locations with over 2,300 staff.
The firm has been on a merger spree over the last few years grabbing offices nationally and overseas. Additions include Newcastle in 2011; Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh in 2012; Bristol and Dublin in 2013; London in 2014; Dubai and Brussels in 2015; and Cologne and Munich in 2016. The financials have grown significantly too, with net profit rising from £8.5m in 2010 to £22m in 2016. And revenue has also gone up significantly from £71.5m in 2010 to £187.1m in 2016. Although it remains to be seen whether the firm can continue such a fast rate of growth since, in the last two years, revenue has plateaued.
Whilst DWF still has some way to go before becoming a truly global player, its relatively compact size on the international scene means that it hasn't had to retrench post-Brexit, unlike some of the gigantic firms. Chief executive and Managing partner Andrew Leaitherland believes that DWF's size puts it in a strong position since it can "learn from others in determining the best route for growth
The firm has a stellar list of clients including the likes of Adidas, Aviva, Barclays, Telefonica UK Limited, Marks & Spencer, Royal Bank of Scotland, RSA and Virgin trains. It has worked on some high profile matters including representing Iceland foods at the House of Commons Select Commitee during the "horsemeat scandal"; defending Morrisons in a massive data breach claim; acting for Travelers Insurance in the PIP Group Litigation case regarding faulty silicone breast implants; representing Zurich Insurance in the landmark Supreme Court Case which clarified how mesothelioma claims are handled; and advising Colony Capital on the £311m purchase of the Gemini property portfolio.
And staff at the firm largely seem to be a happy bunch, as DWF finished a very respectable joint 9th in the UK Firm of the Year 2016
* NB The salary mentioned in the profile is for London trainees. Salary for other offices may vary.