Ex-M5 member Mills & Reeve broadens horizons with new Birmingham office

Mills & Reeve is to break out of the east of England for the first time by opening an office in Birmingham in September.

The move is the second time a firm from the now defunct Norton Rose M5 Group has announced it is to open in the same city as a fellow member – in Birmingham's case, Wragge & Co.

The new office – staffed by healthcare partner Stephen King and two assistants – will initially concentrate on medical negligence work for NHS trusts in the area and general litigation for insurance companies.

In April Mills & Reeve was one of 18 firms placed on the NHS Litigation Authority's panel to handle medical negligence litigation.

It was one of the six members of the Norton Rose M5 Group which broke up last month so member firms could focus on individual expansion.

West Country firm Bond Pearce has already announced that it is looking to open in Bristol where fellow M5 member Bevan Ashford has its headquarters. The office is scheduled to open at the beginning of September.

Mills & Reeve managing partner Duncan Ogilvy said: “In key sectors such as health, insurance and higher education, we are already advising a number of West Midlands clients from our existing offices [in Cambridge and Norwich], but we wanted to provide them with a local base and Birmingham is a natural choice for us.”

He said the firm was not looking to challenge fellow M5 Group member Wragge & Co, with whom “we have very good relations”, because the new office would be covering only insurance-related work.