It featured in The Lawyer’s headlines early last year when it took a large chunk of local rival Fox Hayes, another Leeds firm that subsequently went into administration.
Lupton Fawcett hired 10 Fox Hayes partners, including managing partner Philip Drazen, 17 other fee-earners and 11 support staff, which provided it with additional resources in commercial property, corporate, litigation, personal injury and sports law.
A few months later in September Lupton Fawcett acquired specialist corporate tax and healthcare firm Hackett Windle, a deal that plugged a gap in the firm’s corporate finance group and gave it an office in Sheffield for the first time.
Now the firm is looking for more deals to plug more gaps and potentially extend its reach beyond its current local borders. The plan is to grow the firm sufficiently – the ballpark revenue figure is £25m – so that it can compete in a post-Clementi world.
“We’re a small business, but we’d like to be bigger,” stresses Lupton Fawcett managing director Richard Marshall. “There’s no magic about the £25m target – it could be a few million either side. The real key is for us to be a business that’s fit for purpose today and fit for purpose in three years’ time.”
The growth during the past 12 months, during which some 70 people have joined the firm, has to be set against the redundancies it has made, which totalled around 20 lawyers and staff.
The firm now has around 200 staff in total and Marshall for one is confident that the firm is nearing its goal of having a “clear and solid” offering and a “well-communicated” brand.
“In three to five years,” Marshall adds, “if you don’t have those, you’ll be vulnerable.”
Managing director: Richard Marshall
Number of directors: 39
Number of directors (with more than 50 per cent equity remuneration): 35
Number of lawyers: 84
Number of fee-earners: 116
Number of offices: Two
Locations: Leeds, Sheffield
Main practice areas: Corporate finance, commercial property, dispute management, employment, insolvency and corporate recovery, personal injury
Clients: Broughton Estates, Card Factory, Grattan, Textron, TI Automotive