Hill Dickinson builds up IP expertise

Liverpool-based insurance giant Hill Dickinson is on the expansion trail – taking over two-partner Stockport intellectual property practice Philip Woods & Co to give it an IP facility in the Manchester area.

In less than a year the firm has grown from 40 partners to 60 and added Manchester, Stockport and Chester offices to its existing Liverpool and London branches.

The two Stockport partners – Philip Woods and Chris Hacking – will remain in their Stockport office for the time being although they may at some stage move to Hill Dickinson's Manchester office.

Founded a year ago when the firm followed two key cargo insurance clients to the city, the Manchester office has already expanded by acquiring two-partner Manchester commercial practice Smithsons. It now numbers eight partners and 24 staff.

Last February, the firm also merged with six partner Chester and north Wales firm Wayman-Hales and then in May took over two-partner Chester firm The Property Law Practice and dropped Davis Campbell from the end of its name.

Paul Walton, Hill Dickinson's senior partner, said of the latest acquisition: “We wanted to bring in a particular specialist discipline which we didn't have previously. This will enable us to service another need of our existing clients.”