Nottingham firm Berryman has undergone a raft of changes since managing partner James Jarvis arrived at the firm in 1999.

James Jarvis
James Jarvis

Jarvis was brought in to head the firm’s employment team and became ­managing partner in 2007.

Back when he first arrived Berryman was geared strongly toward its criminal practice, as well as insurance and immigration. It has since ditched the criminal element and no longer does any legal aid work. Berryman instead shifted its focus toward ­commercial ­property, corporate finance, employment, commercial litigation and private client.

The firm, known as Berryman Shacklock until December 2005, is now the biggest single-site firm in Nottingham with a total of 17 partners. Turnover in 2010 is expected to rise to £6.6m, up from £5.9m in 2009.

“This year looks like a success story,” says Jarvis, “but it’s actually down to the high level of contingent work, including litigation, that didn’t appear in the financial figures in 2009; in reality turnover has been pretty steady.”

This year Berryman underwent another ­transformation, reorganising itself into sector-specific teams across its main practice areas in an effort to refine its core areas. These are broken down into life sciences, healthcare, TMT and rural economy.

Jarvis was a keen proponent of the move toward sector specialist areas, particularly in the area of life sciences, where Berryman is among the leaders in the East Midlands.
While the firm, which was established 114 years ago, has undergone some fairly radical changes in the past decade, it now appears keen to consolidate its efforts rather than expand simply for the sake of it.

“We don’t have plans to expand the number of business centres we’re focused on,” says Jarvis. “We’re looking for reasonable growth.”

Managing partner:James Jarvis

Turnover: £6.6m

Number of partners:17

Number of lawyers:29

Number of fee-earners: 72

Main practice areas:­Commercial property, ­corporate finance, ­employment and HR, ­commercial litigation, ­commercial services and insurance, private client ­services

Number of offices:One

Location: Nottingham