Total number of partners: 15
Total number of fee-earners: 57
Main practice areas: Commercial property, commercial litigation, corporate finance, insurance, IP and people management
Key clients: Biocity, Coral, Leicester City Council, North West Leicestershire District Council, Slimming World, Vision Express and Yorkshire Bank
Number of offices: One
Late last year Berryman Shacklock, the largest single-site law firm in Nottingham, shortened its name to Berryman. The firm’s press release says this is the beginning of “a new brand identity to mark the next phase in the firm’s strategy for sustained growth”.
Managing partner Andy Matthews says: “Sustained growth is pivotal to our vision for the next three years, as is our strategy to position Berryman as the first choice law firm for dynamic businesses and successful individuals, and the place where the best people want to work.”
Berryman’s turnover has grown by 53 per cent in the past three years and the firm now employs around 120 staff.
Matthews says this growth is driven by the firm’s young partnership. “We started as a Nottingham high street practice and have changed a lot in the past seven years. Our growth is the result of a young, ambitious partnership, as well as having real sense of commerce. We want to make sure people who work here get a good spread of work and that all are supported doing it and can do it in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Matthews says the name change was the result of business planning and client and staff research. “Our clients liked the way we worked, the fact that we were refreshingly open and practical in our advice,” he says. “However, a lot of the paperwork and the way we were doing things didn’t necessarily show that. It does now and the name is easier to say.”
The firm prides itself particularly on the success of its corporate finance team.
Head of the business services team Duncan James reveals that the firm aims to maintain its recent rapid growth by focusing on the corporate finance team, which James says is “one of the fastest-growing in the East Midlands”. This is because the business services group completed around 40 deals with an aggregate value of more than £140m last year for businesses across the UK.
The firm is also a corporate partner at BioCity Nottingham, the UK’s biggest incubator of biomedical science companies.
“There is undoubtedly more heavyweight commercial work done in Nottingham than there is in Leicester and Derby,” says Matthews. “A couple of years ago, the view seemed to be that a lot of the legal work was being dragged away towards Birmingham. But I suspect that it’s not happening as much now, as people are beginning to realise that there are good professionals in Nottingham. It’s a very competitive market.”
As such the firm has no immediate plans to grow beyond Nottingham and expand throughout the East Midlands region. But as Matthews says: “You never say no.”