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Boutique Carlton Law Firm mixes it with World Heavyweights

Updated: Mar 25, 2019

In London, earlier this month, the founder and principal of Carlton-based boutique commercial law firm, MIA Contract Lawyers, Martin Algie, received the International Client Choice Award in Projects and Procurement. This is the first time that a lawyer from a small practice has received this award.

Lawyer receives award
Martin Algie receives Client Choice Award

The Client Choice Awards

Established in 2005, Client Choice recognises those law firm partners around the world that stand apart for excellence in the quality of their service. The criteria for this recognition focuses on an ability to add real value to clients' business above and beyond the other players in the market. The award is nominated only by corporate counsel, and assessed through a rigorous research panel. With the exception of specialist fields, winners generally come from King & Wood Mallesons, Allen & Overy LLP, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Norton Rose Fulbright and other national and international firms. This year, winners were adjudged the most outstanding from over 2,500 nominations.

MIA Contract Lawyers

MIA Contract Lawyers was established in 2010 and has developed a strong reputation for excellence, focussing on corporate transactions (particularly product distribution) through expert negotiation and contract drafting. Mr Algie says “this Award is a material demonstration that in the new legal world neither size nor location matters; what does matter is being client outcome–focused. A number of factors have contributed to the Firm achieving this.”

Technology and experience: the key to MIA's success

For MIA Contract Lawyers, technology has massively contributed to the flattening of the playing field. New LegalTech, particularly those using artificial intelligence, making it possible for boutique practices to offer services that were thought unheard of only two or three years ago. MIA Contract Lawyers is partnering with a leading British AI company, ThoughtRiver, to launch the Firm’s own ContractControl™ product that will allow MIA Contract Lawyers to play in the same game as those leading BigLaw firms that have traditionally won the Client Choice Award. MIA Contract Lawyers has been built on the philosophy of recruiting senior practitioners, pinch-hitters. Mr Algie says “this Award is testament to the quality team behind me at MIA Contract Lawyers, without which there is no way that we, as a firm, could maintain the level of service this Award is testament to”. MIA Contract Lawyers’ move away from charging fees based on hours to a value-pricing model has been a major contributing factor to the Firm achieving this. Mr Algie says that “This has sharpened attention of our lawyers on what clients see as value and has created the incentive to achieve it, for that is where our margin lies”.

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