With Harvey Ingram, Marrons and Newsome Vaughan under its regional heavyweight belt, Shakespeares is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. Indeed, Coventry-based Newsome Vaughan is Shakespeares seventh merger since 2010 and will transform the company into the UK’s top-ranked specialist in social housing. This expansion has seen the company go from turning over £17m six years ago to approximately £50m today – setting their position as the second largest law firm in the region.
But surely law firms felt the repercussions of the economic downturn as well? “Certainly”, states commercial director Hamish Munro. “Midlands law firms are under two major pressures. Firstly, changes in the market due to inflation caused by the recession and changes to the regulatory framework under which law firms operate. Recent figures from the law society and SRA suggest that there is now a continued reduction in the number of law firms operating in England and Wales and there is more likelihood that this pattern will continue. But I believe, more than the effect of the recession, unless you innovate you are at peril in the market.”
So, why is it that Shakespeares is on the fast-track to growth?
The answer is simple. “Strategy”, states commercial director Hamish Munro. “The relentless pursuit of strategy and a clearly laid-out plan to do with innovating in a traditional, conservative market, makes huge differences to clients and staff alike. It makes you a compelling place to work and a preferred choice by clients. And, ultimately, it brings Shakespeares closer to its goal of becoming the go-to place for mid-market, large corporations and high net worth individuals.”
These mergers, which are said to enhance Shakespeares planning and property practice and complement its existing strengths in residential and commercial development, are a demonstration of its growth strategy.
Munro explains: “The industry is ripe for innovation, new ideas and new thinking in the way legal services are delivered and Shakespeares has been a pioneer in some of that and will continue to be. The firm has stated its intentions to be the primary law firm in the Midlands, and that means continued investment and growth as we challenge established firms for work with bigger and better-known corporates throughout the region.
“A large part of our strategy involves securing smaller firms and enriching our own by adding specialist expertise. After all, the legal sector has many firms operating in different parts of the market and smaller businesses will often be more specialist, operating effectively against larger, regional or international competitors. But with our position in the market, together with our financial status, these businesses are keen to join a firm which they know has the range and depth of services to appeal to their legal and business requirements. Our recent acquisitions are highly specialist practices servicing the property and financial service industries and, therefore, compliment Shakespeares strong presence within these two sectors.”
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