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Manchester firm Slater Heelis rebranded in December last year, dropping legacy names Collier Littler and vowing to focus on new areas as it gears up for the implementation of the Legal Services Act (LSA).
Slater Heelis’s management acknowledged that many firms will need to look more closely at their brands once the act opens the gates to high street law. As has been widely reported, the so-called ’big bang’ of the legal services market could see a range of new competitors, such as supermarkets and other non-legal professionals, expanding their offerings to include legal services.
The firm’s managing partner Mike Fox argues that, in an increasingly crowded marketplace, it will become harder for consumers to distinguish the best provider for their legal needs. “Our new brand provides a platform for us to speak directly to consumers with a clear and consistent message about what makes our approach different,” he stresses.
A significant part of Slater Heelis’s rebrand will include emphasising its increased focus on the commercial legal market. Currently around 25 per cent of the firm’s revenue is derived from non-high street clients, with services including corporate, employment. property and IP.
“We’re also looking to break into the sports market,” adds Fox, whose clients include the England rugby international Jason Robinson.
The corporate side of the practice was boosted last November when former Eversheds partner Geoff Blower joined the firm as head of the department.
Another high-profile commercial hire was Sam Lansbury, an IP and media senior associate who joined last year as a partner from Hill Dickinson.
The rebrand is providing Fox and his partners with reasonable confidence that they can take on the challenges of the new post-LSA environment, whoever the new rivals may be.
Managing Partner: Mike Fox Turnover: £3.8m Number of partners: 12 Number of equity partners: Four Number of lawyers: 28 Number of fee-earners: 33 Number of offices: Four Locations: Sale Moor, Sale, Stockport, Urmston Main practice areas: Commercial property, corporate, IP and media, matrimonial, private client Clients: Brammer, Individual Restaurant Company, McInerney Homes