Yorkshire firm Gordons Cranswick has taken on a partner from the Leeds office of DLA to set up its first business recovery department.
Corporate recovery lawyer David Smyllie, who was responsible for building and managing the national bankruptcy practice at DLA, is known for advising the Department of Trade and Industry in director prosecutions; his departure from the firm is an indication that DLA is moving away from this type of work.
Smyllie said he left DLA because his future was in the mid market and he felt that he would be able to service his clients better from a firm which focused on that market.
“With the larger firms focusing more on large corporate assignments, there's a real gap in the market for quality work in the mid sector,” said Smyllie. “This is an area where I have most experience, and I feel that a firm such as Gordons Cranswick is better placed to respond to it.”
“The team in Leeds is the market leader and remains committed to all areas of the recovery and restructuring market”
Mark Jackson, DLA
DLA head of business support and restructuring in Leeds Mark Jackson said that Smyllie was leaving following DLA's decision not to undertake further directors disqualification work.
However, he added: “The firm's business support and restructuring team in Leeds is the market leader and remains committed to all areas of the recovery and restructuring market.”
Smyllie said that early indications from accountants and financial institutions have been very positive and he expects to see further growth for Gordons Cranswick in the mid market.
Smyllie is currently the only person in the department, but he works closely with the property, litigation, intellectual property and employment teams. He also has access to a number of fee-earners when and if he needs them.
He said that there were no plans to recruit in the department.
Smyllie is not bringing work with him, but he has good contacts in the industry and is already generating work for the firm.
The move is the second lateral hire for Gordons Cranswick, following the hire of Philip Paget, recruited from Leeds firm Keeble Hawson in April.
Gordons Cranswick has 30 partners based in Leeds, Bradford and Keighley and the firm provides a range of corporate and individual legal services focused on the mid sector and owner-managed business market.