Watson Burton opens Leeds base

Watson Burton is poised to launch the firm’s first office outside its home city of Newcastle.

As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (11 August), the hugely profitable 24-partner firm is expected to open an office in Leeds by the end of the year.

Watson Burton senior partner Andrew Hoyle said the new office will initially focus on banking, insolvency and corporate work.

He denied that the firm would struggle to break into the Leeds legal market and stressed the importance of having a presence in the
city, the base for the regional headquarters of a number of financial institutions and venture capitalists.

The Leeds office will be led by Watson Burton’s head of banking Andrew Gosnay, who joined the firm earlier this year from Pinsents’ Manchester office.

Gosnay will straddle the firm’s Newcastle and Leeds offices, but will dedicate the majority of his time to Leeds.

Hoyle said the firm is already in talks with a number of partners about bulking up the new office. “We expect to have three or four partners by the time we open,” he said, “but it will take three years to get to the position we want to be in.”