Firm profile: Rowe Cohen

Manchester-based Rowe Cohen was established less than two decades ago when Simon Cohen and Ivor Rowe decided to set up on their own. The firm now has a turnover of £5m. Rowe has since left the law for private business, but Cohen still sits at the helm, sharing the managing partner role with David Horwich.

Personal injury work accounts for around 60 per cent of the firm’s activity, in its role acting for both defendants and claimants, while property makes up 20 per cent and employment and regulatory work a further 20 per cent of the workload.

Property and employment and regulatory are largely handled out of the London office, which was established in the mid-1990s. “We went into London because of trade association work. We were one of the first firms to provide a one-stop shop nationwide and that needed a southern market,” explains Cohen.

The firm now represents a number of key national associations on regulatory matters, including the Federation of Small Businesses and the Foster Care Association.

In a bid to ramp up Rowe Cohen’s capability in the capital, Cohen says the firm is planning to launch its first-ever property litigation practice in London. Other growth plans include bringing in an additional three or four fee-earners nationwide to expand the employment practice.

Cohen argues that although the credit crunch has taken its toll on the property market, litigation is still going strong. “People tend to be more litigious in downturns, so most of what we do is recession-proof,” he says.

With a view to tapping into growing areas of the market, Rowe Cohen set up a wills and probate practice in October 2007.

“We were dealing with a number of high net-worth individuals who were asking for legal services for this area,” explains Cohen. “Obviously, with the acceleration of house prices people have come into inheritance tax liabilities, and there are a lot more people seriously considering having to set up a will and setting up a trust for tax purposes.”

Looking to the future, two associates will be made up to the partnership on 1 May. The partnership structure offers equity, fixed equity and salaried partner opportunities, and the firm is planning to take advantage of the Legal Services Act. “We are in discussions with companies about possible synergies,” says Cohen.

Managing partners: Simon Cohen (top) and David Horwich (bottom)
Turnover: £5m
Number of partners: Six
Number of lawyers: Nine
Number of fee-earners: 65
Main practice areas: Personal injury, property, regulatory, private client, employment, insurance
Key clients: Abbey Legal, Capita, Federation of Small Businesses, Foster Care Association
Number of offices:Two
Locations: Manchester and London