Sprecher Grier Halberstam

Sprecher Grier is a rarity – it’s happy with things just as they are

It is doubtful that Sprecher Grier Halberstam will be on Masons’ Christmas Card list this year. The Farringdon-based firm has just recruited a fee-earner team of five from the construction powerhouse, just 12 months after poaching another highly-regarded partner from the same firm.
Construction and energy partner Frances Alderson left Masons last year, taking her practice with her. She was joined earlier this month by another Masons partner, Anne Molyneux, together with three assistants (two of whom join their new firm as partners) and a consultant. Their recruitment adds a leisure and property management capability to Sprecher Grier’s practice.
“We didn’t go out of our way to target Masons or any other firm. People join us as they know we’re a pleasant place to work. As law firms go, we’re very apolitical and unbureaucratic. We all just get on with our work as expediently as possible and all pull our weight,” explains partner Simon Halberstam, head of the IT/e-commerce team.
Sprecher Grier was established in 1984 by current managing partner and head of the company and commercial department David Sprecher and head of insolvency Ian Grier.
They were joined in early 1999 by IT specialist Halberstam from Halberstam Elias & Co.
Offering a broad-based service focused purely on commercial clients, Sprecher Grier has a turnover of £5m. The key practice areas are insolvency (accounting for around 25 per cent of work), services to mortgage lenders (25 per cent), construction and energy (10-15 per cent), and IT/e-commerce (10-15 per cent).
“We have a tight business focus. Our managing partner David Sprecher is an ex-finance director of a plc and that same commercial ethos runs through the firm. We know how public and private sector entities work and we can dovetail into that,” says Halberstam.
The client list seems to back up that assertion. The mortgage services team, headed by David Bailey, counts Britannic Money, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Ipswich Building Society and Scarborough Building Society as clients, plus a number of sub-prime mortgage lenders.
It has recruited three new people over the past 12 months and, Bailey says, is on the lookout for more.
Halberstam himself acts for the IBM Computer Users’ Association, the largest such association in the country, as well as the Society of Information Technology Management, which consists of IT managers for local authorities.
Molyneux and the leisure team have also brought a number of clients with them from Masons, including the Unique Pub Company and Inntrepreneur – the latter is currently involved in a test case High Court action brought by one of its former publicans.
The firm has had merger approaches from several larger firms attracted by its reputations and client list, but Halberstam says that a merger is not on the radar. “We’ve been very careful to avoid merger,” he says. “We’ve been solicited by a number of firms to see if we’d be interested in merging, but we don’t do things just to increase our turnover. Disaster lies that way. We have no desire to get to a particular size by a certain time. We’re comfortable with where we are at the moment.”