Bridge McFarland

In 1976, just as the nation was donning its platform heels and shimmying on down beneath a glitter ball, a quiet revolution was taking place in Grimsby.

Robert Edwards
Robert Edwards

But when John Bridge established Keeble Hawson Bridge & Co, little did he know that just 15 miles down the A16 in Louth, Paddy McFarland would also have a law firm-shaped glint in his eye.

Two years later that glint gave birth to McFarland & Co. By 1983 Keeble Hawson Bridge had launched in ­Lincoln and McFarland had taken Mablethorpe ­and Market Rasen by storm.

A mere seven years later the firms merged, ­subsequently taking outposts in ­Skegness, Hull and Doncaster to create a ­Lincolnshire/Yorkshire and the Humber regional ­powerhouse.

So what about future openings – will any firm this side of Friskney Eaudyke be safe?

“We do keep an eye on the marketplace, we’re openminded,” says managing partner Robert Edwards. “But we wouldn’t rush.”

The past two years have seen between 7 and 10 per cent growth, with the firm estimating that ­revenue will be north of £8m for this financial year. The firm is budgeting for between 8 and 10 per cent growth for 2011-12.

Around a third of income is generated by the PI and clinical negligence department, while a further 23 per cent stems from corporate and ­property.

“We have a very strong PI department, are strong in clinical negligence and also have good private client and non-contentious commercial teams,” explains Roberts.

The commercial litigation team recently won a High Court victory for a Lincolnshire farmer who had been hit with £50,000 in fines by the Rural ­Payments Agency. Meanwhile, the PI team achieved a Court of Appeal win for three divers injured after toxic chemicals were discharged into water they were working in.

Managing partner: Robert Edwards

Turnover: £8.1m

Number of equity partners: 16

Number of lawyers: 21

Number of fee-earners: 72

Main practice areas: Civil ­litigation, corporate, PI and clinical negligence, property, private client and family

Number of offices: Eight

Locations: Doncaster, ­Grimsby, Hull, Lincoln, Louth, Mablethorpe, Market Rasen, Skegness