The anaemic domestic economic environment in South Africa made 2014 a challenging year. Like our clients, we have had to consider various aspects of our firm's business in order to ensure robust and sustainable performance, without sacrificing excellent quality of service and client care.
We have utilised this time as an opportunity for renewal and have embraced the reality of fresh foreign law firm competition in our market. We have done this in order to drive innovation around our services, the way in which they are delivered, as well as to entrench credible African continental service reach through our 15 African partner firms.
That our clients have responded enthusiastically to these interventions is demonstrated by, amongst others, consistent high rankings in the DealMakers South African M&A transaction tables and in the Africa and Middle East region of Mergermarket's M&A 2014 Global League tables. It is enormously gratifying to once again bring home the PMR.africa law firm of the year award (5th year in a row) as an endorsement of our consistent efforts to meet our clients' expectations of service excellence. In addition our Chairman, Attie Pretorius, was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Real Estate at the SA Professional Services Awards.
These awards, as well as the recognition of the work of our specialist lawyers and successful practice teams, serve as an indication that we remain on the right track.
Understanding our clients and their businesses' needs remains our principle focus and I believe this lies at the heart of our winning ways. Our lawyers and staff come to work each day to, single-mindedly, deliver the best possible service and outcome for our clients. Our partner firms across our continent do likewise for our respective firms' clients. They go out of their way to ensure the integrated service quality and care that our clients have come to expect.
We will continue to develop best practice in key practice areas and sectors nationally, on our continent and globally in pursuit of our strategic objective of being the leading business law firm in South Africa. Clients clearly consider our services in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, commercial real estate, commercial dispute resolution and arbitration and, tax supported by; employment law, finance and banking, competition law, projects and infrastructure and technology law, to be compelling propositions. Our sincere thanks to them for continuing to show confidence in us as their preferred legal business partners.