“Small firms are an endangered species,” Mundays chief executive Bob Bruce claims.
“That’s why I’m happy to talk to smaller firms,” he adds, even though Mundays just last month announced the completion of a merger with Cobham-based property outfit Browns Solicitors.
The merger saw Mundays’ property department increase its fee-earner count to 37. “The property and construction departments are crucial to us,” says Bruce, adding that the property team brings in almost half of the firm’s turnover.
The firm’s property group has high-profile clients such as Dermalogica UK and Clearview Homes and was recently appointed to the panel advising the purchasers of the Budgens chain of stores.
Mundays’ corporate practice has traditionally been strong, with clients such as Alliance UniChem and Royal Bank of Scotland in its stable.
Bruce says that the firm’s corporate and commercial offering makes up about a third of the practice, but he would prefer it to be more. “We’re looking to balance this out,” he confirms.
And by ‘balance’ Bruce means ‘boost’. He is currently tied up interviewing prospective candidates for the corporate team.
“We’re planning on bringing in at least three lawyers over the next few weeks,” he admits. “And they will be senior.”
The vetting process has been time-consuming, forcing Bruce to put plans to hunt down further acquisition targets on the back burner until next year.
“It’s likely that we will find another firm to merge with within the next 12 months,” he reveals.
“We’re big on organic growth, and that’s how we operate, but we’re only interested in these mini-mergers,” he adds, explaining that large mergers are usually carried out to provide catalysts for firms aspiring to change their business models or strategies. “It’s about continuous, stable growth,” he says.
With the firm expecting to hit a top line of £14m this financial year, stable is an accurate adjective to describe it in terms of financials.
But when it comes to planning, Bruce is taking a walk on the wild side. “There is so much scope to expand,” he says. “I foresee us increasing our fee-earner headcount by another 30 per cent at least.”
But he remains adamant on keeping the single office model and, as such, it may be a walk on just Surrey’s wild side.
Managing partner: Bob Bruce
Total number of partners: 24
Total number of lawyers: 55
Main practice areas: Property, construction, corporate and commercial
Key clients: Alliance UniChem, Allied Irish Bank, Octagon Developments, Royal Bank of Scotland
Number of offices: One
Location: Cobham, Surrey