Regional Focus: Birmingham
1 December 2006
The biggest news to come out of Birmingham recently was that Putsmans and Shakespeares have signed a merger agreement, creating a 20m player in the Birmingham mid-market. The combined firm, which will have more than 50 partners, will become effective in April 2007.
Firmwide turnover: 53.8m
Total partners: 139
Total lawyers: 316
Birmingham trainees: 15
Firmwide turnover: 320m
Total partners: 329
Total lawyers: 1,997
Birmingham trainees: 32
Firmwide turnover: 132.6m
Total partners: 196
Total lawyers: 388
Birmingham trainees: 18
Firmwide turnover: 172m
Total partners: 253
Total lawyers: 728
Birmingham trainees: 24
Firmwide turnover: 74.7m
Total partners: 95
Total lawyers: 309
Birmingham trainees: 3
Wragge & Co
Firmwide turnover: 101.3m
Total partners: 104
Total lawyers: 402
Birmingham trainees: 45
The two firms have not yet confirmed the name of the combined entity, although Putsmans chairman Terry Lipscombe said it will be some combination of the two names, depending on what sounds best phonetically.
Putsmans chief executive Paul Wilson, who joined in July from Olswang, will be the merged firms chief executive. Its managing and senior partners have not yet been finalised, although Lipscombe and Shakespeares senior partner Michael Hibbs are likely to retain senior roles.
New managing and senior partners were confirmed over at regional rising star Mills & Reeve, however. The firm announced that Birmingham managing partner Guy Hinchley will take over as firm managing partner from incumbent Mark Jeffries in March 2007, while Jeffries, who has been in the role since 2001, will replace Jonathan Barclay as senior partner when Barclay retires.
The firm is also drafting a new strategic plan to coincide with the handovers. Hinchley explained: Were looking at the markets were in and whether we want to be in any new ones, and were having discussions about geography.
Birmingham giant Wragge & Co made announcements on strategy too, stating that it is opening offices in the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Hong Kong and that it wants to boost its public sector group to account for 25 per cent of total firm revenue.
Law firm: Wragge & Co
Seat: Corporate (2nd seat)
Where are you originally from?
Why did you choose to join Wragges?
After doing several vacation schemes, in both London and Birmingham, Wragges had by far the best atmosphere, culture and quality of work, and offered the most impressive training contract in terms of training, variety of work and general trainee opportunities. The people were friendly, approachable and helpful, and most of all I had a lot of fun.
What does your typical day involve?
I get in at about 8.30am, check emails and chat to the team, before writing a list of all the matters I need to deal with that day. I tend to be working on a variety of matters for different fee-earners, so its often a case of prioritising and managing my time efficiently. My work at the moment tends to be a mix of drafting, document preparation and dealing with the clients on a day-to day-basis, and I really enjoy having that element of client contact.
Whats the most exciting deal/case youve worked on and why?
I was called up to London last week to assist on a multimillion-pound joint venture. We spent the next three days preparing for a completion that had to happen by Friday. Friday night saw us working late into the night, still negotiating and getting all of the documents signed. It was really exciting, the adrenaline kept us going into the early hours, and it was great to work so closely with our clients and share the champagne when we completed at 3am.
What time do you usually leave the office?
Whats the best thing about working in Birmingham?
Everything is easy to get to.
Whats your favourite pub or bar in Birmingham?
Hotel du Vin if Im feeling classy, and other less reputable pubs or bars on a normal night.
How much does a pint of beer and glass of wine cost in Birmingham?
About 3.50 for a large glass of wine, 2.80 for a pint.
Where do you live in the city?
Near Brindley Place in the city centre.
How long does it take you to get to work? And how do you get there?
20 minutes on foot.