North East Connected

Leading law firm announces significant increase in turnover

Leading law firm announces significant increase in turnoverSwinburne Maddison LLP, one of the region’s fastest growing law firms, has announced a significant 25 per cent increase in annual turnover and further plans to create nine new jobs by the autumn.

The impressive results have been delivered at a time when the practice continues to see growth across all departments and has been supported by the recruitment of a number of new staff across all levels in the past six months.

The recruitment campaign will see Swinburne Maddison create roles for a further three lawyers, three trainees and two secretarial positions.  It will also include an apprentice role in business administration.

Swinburne Maddison’s impressive trading period and its growing reputation, particularly within the areas of corporate, property and employment law, has also led to the firm being shortlisted in five award categories within the forthcoming Northern Law Awards.

The firm has been shortlisted in the categories of Large Law Firm of the Year, Property Team of the Year, Employment Team of the Year and Corporate Team of the Year, with Partner, David Low, being shortlisted for Young Lawyer of the Year.

Additionally, Adam Chaffer, who recently joined the practice in November 2015, has been shortlisted in the Pro Bono/Community Initiative category for work he carried out prior to joining Swinburne Maddison.

Swinburne Maddison has led on some of the region’s highest profile work of late, racking up a number of M&A deals and deals in the property sector as its reputation for delivering a high-quality, partner-led service across all aspects of its business continues to grow.

Headed up by partners Victoria Walton and Kate Stephenson, working with fellow partners, Simon Robinson and Philip Robson, and with support from a team of nine skilled lawyers, Swinburne Maddison’s property team routinely attracts instructions from many high quality clients including house builders, developers, investors, commercial landlords and tenants, as well as public sector organisations.

Over the past year, the firm has provided property-based advice to a number of high profile clients across the region, including the Esh Group, Theakston Estates, Durham Cathedral and the University of Law.  The team has also been extremely active in the social housing sector having most recently advised Prince Bishop Homes Limited (a company associated with Derwentside Homes Limited), County Durham Homes Limited, and Coast & Country Housing Limited.

Partner, Martyn Tennant, and his corporate and commercial team have also been exceptionally busy with notable instructions which include acting on behalf of Esh Developments Limited in connection with a joint venture between it and Trivselhus AB, part of the multi billion pound Sodra Group; the sale of the entire issued share capital of Fraser Hydraulic Pumps (F H P Limited) to IHC Merwede UK Limited and the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of CA Blackwell Group Ltd on behalf of Hargreaves Services PLC for £11.85m.  The team was recently listed by Experian as one of the leading advisors in the North East for the first quarter of 2016.

He commented: “Ten years ago our corporate team did not exist and our competitors would have been other law firms in Durham City and the wider County Durham area but today, because of the investment we have made, we are competing instead with larger, regional and national firms consistently delivering to a high standard in respect of technically challenging and complex instructions”.

The employment team, led by partner Jonathan Moreland, has also seen significant developments in the last 12 months, with the appointment of trainee solicitor, Kelly Richardson, and the qualification of former trainee solicitor, Roland Fairlamb.   Jonathan and his team continue to undertake a wide variety of work across a number of different specialisms, representing a broad client base which includes national plcs, registered social landlords, educational institutions and charitable bodies, as well as senior executive employees requiring support in negotiating their departure from a role.

In addition, the team has provided specialist employment advice alongside the corporate and commercial and property teams, across a wide range of instructions including the conversion of 20 primary schools to academy status for the Enquire Learning Trust and numerous corporate M&A transactions, including the sale of the entire issued share capital of Amanda Smith Recruitment Limited.

Jonathan believes that the firm is now reaping the benefits of the significant investment it has made in training, IT and infrastructure as well as the recruitment of highly qualified and experienced staff:

“As a firm we work exceptionally hard to break down the misconception that clients have to travel to Newcastle to obtain high value legal work within the North East and the fact that all of our departments receive regular repeat business, from some of the region’s leading individuals and businesses, is testament to the effort we continue to make and the service our clients receive.  The significant increase in turnover is a clear reflection of this I have every confidence that this growth is set to continue for some time to come.”

Partner and head of the commercial property team, Victoria Walton, added: “As a firm, we have grown significantly over the last five years, and the impact of this has been seen across all teams, including the property team, who saw a 31% year on year increase in turnover during 2015-16.  Our short term strategy was to be a leading commercial law firm in County Durham, and it is our view that we have been successful in achieving that.  The firm is now well on the way to establishing itself as one of the most progressive legal advisors across the North East, delivering outstanding legal services to private individuals, the SME market, as well as larger corporate clients.  The work we have completed and the clients we represent speak for themselves in clearly illustrating the firm’s ability and quality of service.”

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