Napthens absorbs two North West boutiques in bid to dominate Lancashire

Preston-based Napthens has acquired two firms to help it achieve its ambition of becoming the dominant legal services provider in Lancashire.

Napthens, which merged with Blackburn rival Roscoes in November 2006, is to take over Cuddy Woods & Cochrane in Blackpool and Wallwork & Company in Chorley, effective from 1 October.

Napthens executive chairman Ian Higginbotham said the firm’s expansion was due to an operational review of the business in 2005.

“At the time our turnover was around £3.5m and the partners realised they could either become a boutique or look to grow big enough to be a credible general practice,” said Higginbotham. “We’re not looking to conquer the world, but we do want to be the dominant firm in Lancashire.”

Cuddy Woods is a fourpartner general practice with specialisms in private client and matrimonial work, while two-partner Wallwork primarily handles personal injury and residential conveyancing.

Napthens posted a revenue of £6.9m last year, but the new acquisitions will steer its turnover to more than £10m for the first time. Litigation was its largest revenue stream, accounting for 35 per cent, with commercial property the second largest at 32 per cent.