Regional Focus: Manchester
8 November 2006
14 August 2006
8 November 2006
20 December 2007
15 November 2012
23 October 2007
Cobbetts is a Manchester firm undergoing lots of upheaval. The firm has spent the past 10 years growing and growing, and growing. Since 1999, turnover has risen by 488 per cent, from 11m to 53.7m this year.
Firmwide turnover: 161.2m
Total partners: 171
Total lawyers: 566
Manchester trainees: 28
Firmwide turnover: 53.8m
Total partners: 139
Total lawyers: 316
Manchester trainees: 26
Firmwide turnover: 33.9m
Total partners: 66
Total lawyers: 197
Manchester trainees: 12
Firmwide turnover: 62.7m
Total partners: 125
Total lawyers: 304
Manchester trainees: 49
Firmwide turnover: 39m
Total partners: 92
Total lawyers: 190
Manchester trainees: 29
Firmwide turnover: 38m
Total partners: 81
Total lawyers: 228
Manchester trainees: 2
But a closer look will tell you a different story.
In the biggest law firm bull market for years, Cobbetts profitability has actually dropped from a 210,000 average profit per equity partner high to this years 190,000. The firm is currently pruning its partnership. Elsewhere, Pinsent Masons Manchester office has seen it all in the past 12 months, including partner defections, a hiring spree and a refocus of firm strategy. But where some people see turbulent times, regional head Carl Garvie sees opportunities. During the summer the national firm secured the hire of highly rated corporate partner Stephen Levy from Hammonds and partner Chris Moss from Halliwells. The hires were the result of Garvies quest to rebuild Pinsents Manchester office following the loss of seven partners during the past year. But Garvie does not want to stop there. He wants to grow Manchester significantly to bring it up to the level of Leeds and Manchester. He plans to increase partner and associate numbers.
Halliwells also has great expectations. We definitely want to get into the top 25 law firms, said managing partner Ian Austin. And why not? With offices in Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield, and this years turnover of 62.7m, up by 25 per cent from last year, it looks like the firm is on the right track.
Law firm: Halliwells
Seat: Property (3rd seat)
Where are you originally from?
Why did you choose to join Halliwells?
Because of its reputation and prospects.
What does your typical day involve?
It varies completely from day to day. Since I started Ive not had two days the same. When I was in litigation I was out at court a great deal and when I was in corporate I attended many client meetings. In property Im more office-based and am currently preparing properties for auctions for sale and leasebacks. This involves drafting the documentation, carrying out the relevant searches, answering any queries prospective purchasers have and attending the actual auctions.
Whats the most exciting deal/case youve worked on and why?
Ive assisted commercial litigation partner Julian Diaz-Rainey on a case concerning disciplinary charges brought by the Football Association against a high-profile football agent. The case was extremely hard work, but rewarding, and was well documented in the media.
What time do you usually leave the office?
6ish generally, but sometimes later depending on work and what seat youre in. If youre in corporate you can often find yourself doing all-nighters.
Whats the best thing about working in Manchester?
The vibe Manchester is a really happening place. Its like a mini London only easier because everything is closer together so its easier to get around. There are loads of amazing bars and restaurants, as wells as great shops such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
Whats your favourite pub/bar in Manchester?
Obsidian, which is part of the Arora Hotel on Princess Street. It does amazing cocktails, my favourite is the passion fruit Martini with a shot of champagne on the side. It also plays really funky house music.
How much does a pint of beer cost in Manchester?
No idea. I drink wine or vodka and enjoy the odd cocktail.
Where do you live?
How long does it take you to get to work?
15 minutes on foot.