Mishcons leads legal rivals in Sunday Times top employer list

Only three of the UK’s 50 largest law firms by revenue have made the grade to appear on The Sunday Times’ annual Best Companies to Work For rankings, with Mishcon de Reya the highest ranked legal practice.

The London firm has climbed to twelfth place in the rankings, up from number 23 last year, scoring particularly highly in categories including how staff feel about the company, the leadership and their immediate colleagues. The only other UK top 50 firms to feature are Mills & Reeve, which at number 57 has climbed more than 30 places on last year, and Withers, which fell 11 places to 88.

The Sunday Times rankings are compiled from staff responses across eight different areas, also including staff well being and compensation, their thoughts about immediate management and opportunities for personal career growth as well as corporate social responsibility.

Looking beyond the top 50, Lewis Silkin is the second best-placed law firm, featuring at number 33 in 2013 compared with 19th place last year. The firm also won a special award from the newspaper for employee wellbeing thanks to an increase in flexible working and improved parental policies.

Meanwhile Baker & McKenzie climbed 24 places to secure 46th place overall, on the back of particularly good scores for benefits and compensation, CSR and personal growth. Elsewhere Nottingham-based Browne Jacobson is a new entrant at 89.

Reed Smith, a new entrant at 88 in 2012, dropped out of the top 100 rankings, which feature mid-sized companies with between 250 and 4,999 employees.

Commercial radio group UKRD topped the overall rankings for the second year running, with new entrants Save Britain Money Group and TGI Friday coming second and third respectively. A separate ranking of the UK’s top 25 big companies to work for shows Pets at Home in first place, ahead of Iceland Foods and IHG hotels.

Baker & McKenzie London head Gary Senior said: ‘The ranking reflects the effort we continue to place on enabling our people to be the best they can be.’

Mishcon de Reya managing partner, Kevin Gold (pictured), said: “We are delighted to have been placed twelfth in this year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Alongside our colleagues at Browne Jacobson, Baker & McKenzie, Lewis Silkin, Mills & Reeve and Withers who also placed this year, we are proud to represent the legal profession and champion workplace culture in this way.”

It has been several years since leading City firms performed well in the rankings with firms including CMS Cameron McKenna, Olswang, Charles Russell and Berwin Leighton Paisner all dropping out of the top 100 in 2010.