Lester Aldridge launches in Southampton

South coast firm Lester Aldridge has fulfilled its long-term expansion ambitions with the opening of a new office in Southampton.

The Southampton office houses the firm's new marine division, called LA Marine, as well as corporate recovery and planning teams. It will eventually provide a full commercial law service.

Sixteen fee-earners have relocated from the Bournemouth office, including new partners Jonathan Hadley-Piggin and Russell Kelly, who joined from Shoosmiths in October. Four more new hires who specialise in employment, commercial property and commercial litigation have still to join the firm.

Managing partner Roger Woolley says: "Many more of the larger companies look towards the regional firms to handle their work. This move into Southampton equips us to meet the demands of these larger organisations."

The firm's expansion plans were first announced in autumn 2000 (The Lawyer, 6 November 2000).