DWF growth plan includes Leeds merger by 2009

North West firm DWF has revealed plans for an ambitious growth strategy, with plans to double the firm’s turnover by 2009 and to merge with a Leeds firm.

As part of its wider strategy, the North West firm, which already has offices in Manchester and Liverpool, will be looking at opportunities to create regional bases elsewhere.

“Leeds is the obvious step,” said managing partner Andrew Leaitherland. “It’s very unlikely that we’ll open from scratch. We’ll shortly engage in conversations with firms that could be potential merger partners.”

The firm’s announcement follows a strategic review that commenced in January with the election of Leaitherland as DWF’s first-ever managing partner and the appointment of a new strategic board.

Leaitherland told The Lawyer: “We realised that we needed to improve the quality of certain clients and to focus on how to attract them.”

Last month the firm advised Kwik Save on its £30m refinancing and expansion, acting opposite Linklaters.

Earlier this year it announced a record turnover of £34m and promoted seven associates to the partnership. At the time Leaitherland said the promotions underlined the firm’s continued growth plans.

This year the firm has posted a half-year figure of £17.4m, up 8.9 per cent from last year’s figure of £15.9m. By 2009 DWF aims to have increased turnover to £60m, with the corporate, banking and finance, litigation and real estate departments having been identified as the practice areas that will undergo the most aggressive growth.