Turner Parkinson doesn’t dabble in publicly-listed companies. “We avoid it like the plague,” says Nick Davenport, senior partner at the 13-year-old firm. Instead it prefers to concentrate its company commercial line, which accounts for 25-30 per cent of its turnover, on privately-owned businesses.
“Owner-managers are much more interesting people – they’re entrepreneurial and passionate, you can become part of them building their businesses,” adds Davenport.
It’s not surprising that the firm is attracted to these kinds of clients given that its own business strategy is slightly unorthodox.
One of its core practice areas – acting for North-West musicians such as The Zutons, Ian Brown, The Coral and Utah Saints – resulted from contacts partner Andy Booth made while in a rock band back in the 1980s. The bands currently bring in about 5 per cent of the firm’s turnover.
Another major area for the firm is insolvency. “Five years ago we did very little insolvency. We had one partner doing it part time,” explains Davenport. “But I had no faith that the UK economy would continue to boom forever. I’d been in two recessions and knew that a third would happen.”
Now the firm has six full-time lawyers working in insolvency and has some high-profile transactions under its belt, including advising Begbies Traynor on the administration of Wrexham Football Club. Any growth over the coming year will be in that department.
The majority of the firm’s clients are in the North-West and the north Midlands. “We’ve got no plans to open elsewhere, we don’t see the point in incurring overheads unnecessarily.”
Davenport also believes that small is beautiful, so mergers are also not on the cards. “A fair number of people here come from large firms. We don’t want to go back into one – it’s not a culture we particularly enjoy,” he claims.
Senior partner: Nick Davenport
Total number of partners: 12
Total number of lawyers: 31
Total number of fee-earners: 35
Main practice areas: Private client, company commercial, creative industries, litigation, employment, commercial property, insolvency
Key clients: The Zutons, Ian Brown, Begbies Traynor
Number of offices: One