With two mergers in 14 months, Ellisons Solicitors has been staking its claim on the Essex legal market.

Focusing on the Tendring Peninsula, an agricultural region that spreads from Colchester in the east and Clacton-on-Sea in the south to the port of Harwich on the west coast, Ellisons’ expansion plans saw it merge with PTL Solicitors back in May 2008. The deal took in the Colchester and Clacton offices of PTL and saw three partners and four lawyers join Ellisons.

This year saw the larger Marshall Legal become part the firm. The merger, which is expected to be completed by October, will bring six partners and around five fee-earners into Ellisons’ Colchester head office. It will give the firm a strong private client practice, neatly bringing together lawyers working for the firm’s agriculture clients into one practice.

“Historically we’ve been very strong on commercial property and agriculture, but we wanted to build up the private client side and now we’re aiming to offer a full range of services,” says Seamus Clifford, partner and head of the firm’s corporate commercial practice.

The majority (19 per cent) of the firm’s £5.8m revenue actually comes from its personal injury practice, which acts on the defendant side through a tie-up with a number of Lloyd’s of London syndicates.

Ellisons’ other practice areas break down as commercial property (17 per cent), private client (17 per cent), residential property (14 per cent), family (14 per cent), litigation (9 per cent), corporate commercial (7 per cent) and employment (3 per cent).

Turnover has remained flat over the past two years, but the Marshall merger is expected to add another £1.5m to the pot when it is completed.
And it is the mergers that sow the seeds for the future of the firm – namely serving the requirements of wealthy agricultural clients through one team.

“The mergers have allowed us to bring together an agricultural team that offers a one-stop shop,” explains Clifford. “This is a period of fantastic ­opportunity.

We’re in a similar situation to other firms, but we’ve identified areas of growth and built a platform for when the economy recovers.”

Firm: Ellisons Solicitors
Head of corporate ­commercial: Seamus Clifford
Turnover: £5.8m
Number of partners: 18
Number of equity partners: 11
Number of lawyers: 24 (partners and assistants)
Number of fee-earners: 47
Total number of staff: 104
Number of offices: Four
Locations: Clacton-on-Sea, ­Colchester, Dovercourt, ­Frinton-on-Sea,
Practice areas: Personal injury, commercial and residential property, litigation, employment, family, private client, corporate commercial