Heathcliff-like, Lupton Fawcett is poised to bestride Yorkshire’s broad acres
In the past few years Leeds firm Lupton Fawcett has gone about steadily increasing its size and regional profile. First it added a Sheffield office by bolting on local firm Hackett Windle, then it expanded in Leeds last year by tying up with Lee & Priestley, becoming Lupton Fawcett Lee & Priestley in the process.
Now the firm has set its sights on York. Although it is the most significant city in North Yorkshire, York acts as a satellite to Leeds when it comes to business and its legal market has tended to be pretty stagnant. However Lupton Fawcett managing director Richard Marshall reckons that merging with a York firm is the way to open up business across the UK’s biggest county.
In particular, Marshall likes the opportunities potential merger partner Dennison Till offers in areas such as agricultural law – with much of North Yorkshire being farmland – and ecclesiastical law. The York firm’s client base extends well beyond the city’s Roman walls out to the coast.
If successful, a merger would create a truly pan-Yorkshire firm, and that is what Marshall is aiming for.
It would also be the most significant move for a business firm in York since 2007 when the then-Dickinson Dees merged with Philip Ashworth & Co.
However, Dickie Dees turned its back on York four years later, shifting the office to its new branch in Leeds.
Lupton Fawcett seems unlikely to do the same, with its ambition and strategy both crystal clear.