Freeth Cartwright plans Leeds expansion

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  • Good luck to Freeth Cartwright - they'll need it. It is a lot harder to make your way in Leeds than it appears from the outside and the streets are certainly not paved with gold.

    There are an awful lot of long-established Leeds firms who are struggling or have gone bust over the last few years. It is difficult to see what Freeth Cartwright can bring to the party that hasn't already been tried and tested (and in some cases found severely wanting).

    If they are looking for a team, they should tread very, very carefully. Partners in other firms who are doing well are unlikely to move - it is a high risk venture. Of the partners in other law firms who are interested in talking to FC, they are probably under pressure at their existing firms to move on.

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  • It is just an aspiration: "it'll depend on the opportunities".

    I don't understand the Freeths strategy over the last decade. I would have expected them to seek mergers and alliances with firms that are similar to their position in the Nottingham legal market (i.e. third). However they seem intent on targeting tiny firms. It strikes me that they could have grown much quicker if they had been a bit more ambitious.

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  • Bond Dickinson have been a huge success in Leeds. They were able to attract some of the highest performing partners in the city.

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  • It seems strange that any firm would want to replicate the mid market, 'zombie firm' model that has struggled in recent times - high overheads in multiple locations, with a great differential between locations and predominantly low margin work. time will tell.

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  • Interesting. They may find that there are two or three mid tier players in Leeds who would be open to a merger, something which might give the firm critical mass in a short space of time. That said, the PEPs of any such firm would probably not compare.

    It's taken Freeths a long time to not get very far in Manchester and Midlands firms can sometimes be taken aback by Leeds and Manchester salaries which have been inflated by the big Nationals and aspirant firms like DWF. In short, Leeds may prove a more expsensive place to hire than Nottingham.

    As 2:24 says, they are probably going to need a good bit of luck and/or a great deal of patience.

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  • The problem that has plagued Freeths for the last 15 yrs is that they can't retain junior talent.

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  • My view of Freeths was that they were good for general commercial and litigation, but weak in corporate / banking and commercial property. Which is pretty much the opposite of how they try to present themselves as a firm.

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