Obiter admires national firm DWF’s attempt to jazz up its annual financial report and ditch the routine ‘chairman’s message’. Instead the firm opts for a newspaper feature style, with an interviewer getting insight from the firm’s leaders.

Our intrepid journalist, no doubt channeling the spirit of Ida Tarbell, notes the ‘crisp and straightforward’ introduction to the philosophy of managing partner Andrew Leaitherland.

We learn that ‘it’s the ambition to go further that shapes everything we do’ and ‘if it’s not client-driven, we won’t do it’.

Chairman Alan Benzie keeps this controversial tone going: ‘We are fundamentally seeking to raise the bar,’ he says, and ‘striving to raise expectations of what good client service looks like’.

By the final paragraph of the first interview, the author has noted that ‘Andrew has of course anticipated the concluding question’ (not a huge surprise given he’s in charge of the firm and presumably the ‘interview’) and ‘next year will be business as (un)usual’.

There’s another 32 pages of this before we actually get to the firm’s financials.