Firm profile Moon Beever

London-based firm Moon Beever likes to focus on high-end fraud matters. “We go in fists flying,” says managing partner Frances Coulson, “because we like to chase the bad guys.”

Managing partner:Frances Coulson
Turnover: £4.1m
Total number of equity partners: Four
Total number of fee-earners: 30
Main practice areas: Insolvency, debt recovery, private client work
Key clients: Baker Tilly, Chantrey Vellacott, Grant Thornton, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, Smith & Williamson
Number of offices: One (plus two affiliate offices)
Locations: London (plus Brussels and Washington DC)

London-based firm Moon Beever likes to focus on high-end fraud matters. “We go in fists flying,” says managing partner Frances Coulson, “because we like to chase the bad guys.”

This drive reflects the firm’s history. Moon Beever was founded in 1851 by Willie Moon, whose son, also called Willie and a lawyer at the firm, was goalkeeper and captain of the England football team in his spare time.

The firm has since grown to four equity partners and 30 fee-earners, but Coulson claims that “people say we’re punching above our weight”.

As such, Moon Beever sees itself as competing with the likes of Denton Wilde Sapte, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, Hammonds and Nabarro Nathanson.

Moon Beever shares clients and markets jointly with Washington DC-based Shawn Coulson and Brussels-based Putzeys Shawn Coulson, although the three offices operate as separate profit centres.

The firm also has best friend relationships with firms in Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Dublin, Hamburg, Madrid, Paris, Portugal and Rome – “wherever we need to chase money”, Coulson says.

This wide international network is driven by the firm’s desire to increase the number of international matters it is instructed on. “We get more interesting cases that way, as well as larger clients,” Coulson says.

He is clear that Moon Beever has a strict process for selecting its international partners, as working cross-border requires increased cooperation with foreign firms.

Coulson says: “In the early days we almost just stuck a pin in the phone book. But in the past few years the selection process has grown a lot more refined. We’ve invited firms to numerous meetings and we also try to combine meetings with potential clients to show that you don’t have to go to major firms to get international coverage.”

In addition to the usual range of client entertaining, the firm also sends out email alerts to a database of 700 recipients. “If an interesting case comes up we want to get there first,” Coulson says. “It gets our name registered in front of potential clients.”

The firm is also looking to grow through laterals, “but we have to be careful people will fit in”, says Coulson, admitting that the firm is “frequently” approached about potential mergers.

Culture is an important consideration at Moon Beever as it is new to the partner hiring game. Indeed, Coulson did her articles at the firm, as did two of the other three partners. “We like organic growth,” she says.