Manchester momentum drives law firm growth

Manchester momentum drives law firm growth


Author: Kara Shadbolt

The head of the Manchester office of Shoosmiths, one of the city's fastest growing law firms, today said they were on target to more than double in size over the next four years.

Partner and head of office Harold Brako said the business was on course to increase its head count from 160 staff to more than 300 by 2019.

Brako, who set up the office in 2009, revealed the company's growth ambitions following news that the team is to relocate from its current Hardman Street base to the new XYZ Building in Spinningfields.

He said growth was being driven by market demand and was also a reflection of Manchester's 'astonishing' momentum as devolution and economic growth gather pace.

Brako also said they were being assisted by what he described as the city's 'huge talent pool' of legal expertise.

Shoosmiths is a national law firm with a network of 10 offices in the UK. The Manchester office secured three new rankings in this year's Legal 500 directory, taking the total number of practice area rankings secured by the office to 14.

The firm announced six weeks ago that it has signed up to Allied London's new XYZ building, where it will take 32,000 sq. ft. over two floors. The company will take occupancy towards the end of next year and has temporarily relocated to the former Granada Studios site until then.

The law firm has enjoyed rapid organic growth in the past five years and has built a reputation for offering superb client service, developing a strong foothold in the Manchester market.

Brako said: 'The new office is a signal of confidence in our growth prospects, which are entirely driven by client demand. It means we will be actively searching for new legal talent at all levels to meet this demand for our services.

'We are seeing consistent in-flows of work and new client wins across all practice areas, originating not just from Greater Manchester but the wider North West and North of England.'

Nationally, Shoosmiths turns over £102.7m. The company was ranked number 2 for volume of UK deals done in 2014 and number 8 in Europe (Experian CorpFin League Table 2014).

Its Manchester clients include medical insurance company Chase Templeton, for whom Shoosmiths have advised on some 40 acquisitions in just three years, and NVM Private Equity whom Shoosmiths advised on £4.5m investment of development capital into Love Energy Savings.

Other clients include Palatine Private Equity, consumer and SME finance company Rentsmart and online car finance company Zuto.

Brako added: 'We are immeasurably helped by the huge pool of legal talent in the city, however, and by the city's astonishing momentum and confidence as it moves towards devolution and continues to attract global investors and foster new enterprise.

'There is a real sense of optimism in the city and a sense also that its increasingly sophisticated approach to attracting investment is paying dividends.'