Shoosmiths moves out of Oxfordshire market

Equity partners split from Midlands firm as Shoosmiths ditches matrimonial work

Midlands-based firm Shoosmiths has spun off its Banbury office as part of its strategy to focus on bigger commercial work. John Spratt and David Endicott, the two equity partners in Banbury, will set up an independent firm practising as Spratt Endicott.

Shoosmiths group head of operations Paul Stothard said: “The firm’s been going through a strategic review. Both parties recognised that there was a separation in the way we viewed the future. Shoosmiths increasingly wanted to go in the direction of national work, whereas the Banbury partners felt their market was close to their own region.”

Managing partner Graham New said: “We have very high ambitions for the firm and that sometimes means taking hard decisions on strategic grounds.”

Shoosmiths held a partnership vote on the strategic issue and then another on draft heads of terms for the separation agreement.

Spratt said in a statement to The Lawyer: “The Banbury partners all agree with this natural progression and feel that it is the right decision for both Spratt Endicott and Shoosmiths.”

The Banbury office operated as a full-service local law firm. It was the only part of Shoosmiths to practise matrimonial law, which Shoosmiths will now drop entirely.

Banbury also handled some private client and residential conveyancing work, which Shoosmiths will continue to do through its private client department and the Property Direct conveyancing service.

The Banbury office will be transferred to Spratt Endicott on 1 May. The office’s 80 staff will be kept on and the Banbury partners will also retain their existing clients.