Thring Townsend takes on Laytons’ Bristol arm

Laytons has hived off its Bristol office to South West firm Thring Townsend, spelling the end of the firm’s presence in the region after a string of departures.

The deal will see the remainder of the office effectively rebranded as Thring Townsend, with nine lawyers joining the Bath-headquartered firm on 1 December.

Laytons chief executive Richard Kennett said the move fitted with the firm’s strategy of focusing more on international work and its three offices in Guildford, London and Manchester.

He added that it was “right” for the Bristol office to have a stronger local presence and admitted that there had not been “a huge amount” of interaction between Bristol and the other offices. “We’re totally supportive of our Bristol office joining Thring Townsend,” he added. The Lawyer revealed the number of partners that had left Laytons’ Bristol office in a feature earlier this year (28 February). Losses during the past year included former Bristol managing partner Louise Brown and local construction head Barrie Hobbs, both of whom joined Clarke Willmott, and head of the trade and technology group Perran Jervis, who joined TLT Solicitors.

Laytons currently has four partners in Bristol, of which two – insolvency specialist Tony Harris and commercial property specialist David Mears – will join Thring Townsend as partners. Ann Newby will join as a commercial property and charity consultant, while former dispute resolution head Bill Brydon is emigrating to Spain.

Thring Townsend is embarking on an aggressive growth plan to expand its new Bristol outpost immediately. The firm is particularly well-known for private client work and sees a gap in the Bristol market for high-end private client advice. It will also seek to build on the office’s existing commercial property and insolvency platform. The additional revenues, estimated at around £1.5m, will increase Thring Townsend’s turnover to around £14m.