Worcester-based Harrison Clark extended its reach significantly last year by opening a primarily family law-orientated office in Cheltenham.
The move offers the firm the chance to leapfrog into Gloucestershire and to use the new outpost as a platform to build out its growing business services team.
Senior partner Jonathan Brew reveals that when his firm merged with the niche family law business run by Barbara Jordan last June, it also took over the office next door.
“We’re in the process of building up the business services practice there as well as considering adding on other areas such as private client,” says Brew.
The last time The Lawyer profiled Harrison Clark in 2006, the firm had only recently launched its business services group off the back of a few quality lateral hires. The group has helped the firm power ahead in terms of turnover since then, with total revenue growing from £5.6m to more than £10m at the end of its most recent financial year (which unusually runs from 1 December to 30 November).
“We’re aiming for a turnover of around £15m over the next three to four years,” says Brew. “It’s critical to stay strong. If you stop growing the danger is you start going backwards.”
The firm’s strategy of hiring laterally has also continued, with recent additions including partners Guy Hopson and Andrea Bateman from BPE Solicitors. Corporate partner Hopson joined in June, while Bateman, an employment specialist, came on board two months ago.
Meanwhile, significant growth in the commercial litigation group prompted three promotions at the beginning of this year. The litigation department, which has grown from four to 16 people in five years, has seen billing increase to more than £1m a year.
Head of commercial litigation Richard Morgan said the rate of growth was such that a new tier of associates had been introduced to manage it.
“The team’s been so successful that we’ve created a three-tier system to cope with the increased demand,” Morgan explained.
Senior partner: Jonathan Brew Turnover: £10.1m Number of partners: 21 Number of equity partners: 10 Number of lawyers: 68 Number of fee-earners: 77 Number of offices: Three Locations: Birmingham, Cheltenham, Worcester Main practice areas: Corporate and commercial, commercial litigation, family, insolvency, personal injury, private client Clients: British Red Cross, Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce, Morgan Motor Company, Tarmac, West Midlands International Trade