Post-merger SA Law opens in London with plans to acquire business immigration practice

Hertfordshire-based SA Law, which merged with Pickworths to form a 15-partner firm in October, has opened an office in London in a bid to widen its doors to international work.

In line with the launch the firm has also acquired a London-based business immigration practice, comprising a sole practitioner and an assistant, though the firm said it could not confirm the name of the practice until the acquisition goes live in April.

The bolt-on is expected to be one of many for the new London office, with managing partner Steve Ryan telling The Lawyer that the firm is also looking at potential acquisitions in the area of commercial litigation, dispute resolution and family.

In the meantime the office will focus on employment and property law, the latter being part of the reason the firm chose office space in Hanover Square.

“We [opened in London] primarily because of client demand, and a number of our property contacts are close to that part of London,” Ryan explained. “We also see a London office as a route to more international work.”

The base will initially house around 10 lawyers. Hires include Joanna Cowie, previously head of legal at employment consultants HR Insight, and assistant solicitor Kirsty Mcintyre. Ryan will work in the office on an alternate basis with partner Vanessa James, with other lawyers at the firm given the option to ‘hot-desk’ when they spend time in London.

The move is part of a five-year growth plan for the firm after it merged with Hemel Hempstead outfit Pickworths in October (3 October 2012), a move which increased turnover by 23 per cent to £6.6m. SA Law also has an office in St Albans.