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Freeth Cartwright is eyeing expansion into Leeds after several years of growth through merger and lateral hires.
The Nottingham-headquartered firm’s chief executive Peter Smith told The Lawyer that Freeth Cartwright is looking at opening in Leeds this year, although it had not yet identified suitable premises or a team to launch with.
“This year we’re planning to open up in Leeds - it’ll depend on the opportunities,” he said.
Last year Freeth Cartwright took a stake in Oxford firm Henmans, with plans to fully integrate the two in due course (8 October 2012).
The firm already has a base in Yorkshire city Sheffield, launched in May 2012, and earlier this year scooped several sub-panel spots on the combined West Yorkshire council panel review run by Kirklees Council (11 June 2013).
Freeth Cartwright’s financial figures for the 2012/13 financial year show solid growth, breaking through the £40m barrier to £40.6m compared to £36.7m in 2011/12, a 10.6 per cent increase. Last year’s figures include the first full year of integration with Kimbells and earlier merger partner KJD Freeth.
Smith said underlying growth in the core business was 7 per cent.
Average profit per equity partner (PEP) rose by 4.5 per cent from £247,000 to £258,000, with net profit hitting £8.7m, up 10 per cent from £7.9m in 2011/12. The firm’s profit margin is now 21.4 per cent.
The firm now employs over 480 people, including 194 lawyers and 99 partners - up from 91 in the previous year.
Smith said Freeth Cartwright would continue to look for merger opportunities and was planning for further expansion and profit growth.