Leading UK law firm Shoosmiths LLP and national collections, recoveries and enforcement business, Chartsbridge, have today launched ‘Equivo’, a new dedicated recoveries business providing end-to-end collections, legal and enforcement services.
The new company is a dedicated recoveries business majority owned by Shoosmiths and born out of the former Chartsbridge business. Equivo will provide clients with a complete ‘one stop shop’ multi-disciplinary recoveries solution, the first of its kind in the market. The new business will also have a strong focus on technology to deliver a digital consumer engagement experience whilst delivering significant operational and client benefits.
As part of the joint venture, Equivo has acquired the Shoosmiths recoveries services lines including early and late stage collections, pre-legal activity, recoveries litigation including non-standard consumer recoveries defended actions and enforcement. The company is authorised and regulated by the SRA and the FCA and is authorised by the MoJ enabling full-service collections, legal and enforcement services. The combined business will service all client needs, irrespective of geographic jurisdiction and provide a seamless UK wide recoveries service including in-house field and enforcement activities.
Equivo has three key divisions; Legal, Collections and Field, and Enforcement covering all disciplines within the recoveries lifecycle within a single company structure. The business has in-house capability to provide clients with modular or full-service recoveries solutions including legal services, High Court Enforcement, motor and property repossessions and field services including process serving, reconnect services and trace activity. The new offering provides clients with the full suite of services to support their end-to-end recoveries requirements.
Jim Taylor has joined Equivo in the role of Managing Director of the Legal Division after 24 years at Shoosmiths. In addition, Mel Chell, who remains a partner of Shoosmiths, will take on the role of Director of Client Experience and Culture at Equivo.
Jonathan Chatfield, formerly of Marston Holdings, has been appointed to the role of Managing Director of the company’s Enforcement Division at Equivo’s new London offices opposite the Royal Courts of Justice.
John Ingram, founder of Chartsbridge, has been appointed as CEO of Equivo.
Equivo is also joined by other former Shoosmiths partners Lisa Keating and Sean Adams, who will continue to have responsibility for the delivery of consumer finance litigation and recoveries, and will be responsible for the recoveries/customer engagement elements in Northern Ireland and Scotland. 182 Shoosmiths staff will transfer to Equivo under TUPE and there have been no compulsory redundancies.
With a strategic focus on technology and digital transformation, Bobby Soor takes up the role of Equivo’s CTO. A successful digital pioneer, Bobby has led game-changing digital growth projects across financial services, fintech and online gaming to deliver world-class technology solutions for volume regulated activities.
Alongside the executive team, Shoosmiths will have two seats on the Equivo board, in partners, Mel Chell and Stuart Little, head of the firm’s Business Advisory Division.
The creation of Equivo provides the businesses with a platform to focus on and deliver specialist recoveries litigation within an end-to-end recoveries business, servicing existing and new clients’ needs in this heavily regulated environment.
At the same time, Shoosmiths continues to invest in its financial services practice, including complex and high value financial services disputes and investigations, reflecting its growing ambition in the sector. Shoosmiths’ UK financial services sector group is headed up by partner, Stephen Dawson supported by a growing stable of specialist partners. Recent new lateral hires include Jonathan Crook into the rapidly growing Financial Services Disputes and Investigations team, commercial partner and Fintech specialist, Luke Stubbs, former head of Fintech at DAC Beachcroft, Prakash Kerai and banking partner Anna Robson in Leeds. The firm has also ramped up its financial services capability in Belfast with the appointment of partner Anna Vangrove from TLT.
Simon Boss, CEO at Shoosmiths, said: “As a progressive firm, we constantly explore ways to innovate and improve the way we work to provide high-quality, client focussed service. For some time, we have been reviewing how to further enhance our recoveries business by providing new, dynamic and exciting products and services to our clients and the market. We know from talking to our clients that they are incredibly supportive of this new business concept and the value and benefits it will give them.
“Recoveries is a distinct business area, requiring particular and unique skills and systems. Equivo will drive continued investment and development in this business whilst at the same time, Shoosmiths will continue to focus on building its UK leading financial services group.”
John Ingram, founder of Chartsbridge and CEO of Equivo, said: “By entering into this venture with Shoosmiths, the new combined Equivo business is now able to offer a complete “one stop shop” end-to-end and highly tech-enabled service to our clients, and this is something that no one else in the market can currently offer.
“There is no doubt that this business will bring increased industry expertise to our clients and enhanced opportunities to work on digital solutions providing both efficient and compliant approaches to engage with customers in a post-Covid/digital world with our specialist tech teams.”
Equivo - Legal Services | Debt Collection | Enforcement Services