Doing business in the region

Garretts was established in 1993 as the legal arm of Arthur Andersen. It has offices in Leeds, Manchester, Reading, Cambridge, Birmingham and London.

Some detractors questioned the firm’s decision to open its first office in Leeds instead of the City. But regional senior partner Richard Bonnar says the intention was always to be a national practice.

‘The strategy in the UK is to have a presence in all the major centres in which Andersens has a presence,’ he says. ‘Andersens has a very strong practice in Leeds and when we created Garretts, it was one of the obvious places to do it. But the timing was as much a matter of fortuity as anything else. There was a bunch of people from Simpson Curtis looking around for other options.’

Bonnar concedes the Leeds market is crowded and firms would be wise to look at non-traditional sources of revenue.

‘There has been a very noticeable time of consolidation and globalisation,’ he says. ‘One of the ways we are dealing with that is targeting the mid-market. We are witnessing a whole new generation of business growing up in the region.’

The firm competes with a range of local, national and City rivals, he adds.