Freeth Cartwright has announced the opening of a Leeds office, some six months after first looking at expanding into the city.
The firm’s Leeds base will open on 6 January 2014, led by corporate defence head Paul Burnley. Burnley joined the firm earlier this year from DLA Piper’s Sheffield office.
He will work alongside litigator James Hartley, who was hired by Freeth Cartwright from Nabarro in Sheffield last year, and construction lawyer Rachael Yates, who is joining as a partner from Addleshaw Goddard’s Leeds office, where she was a managing associate.
Leeds is Freeth Cartwright’s eleventh office and the move follows several years of expansion for the firm. It has opened offices in London (26 April 2010), Birmingham (12 October 2011) and Sheffield, and has merged with Milton Keynes firm Kimbells (16 September 2011) and taken a stake in Oxford firm Henmans, with plans to fully integrate the two in due course (8 October 2012).
Burnley said Leeds was a “natural progression” for Freeth Cartwright and clients had expressed a desire to work with the firm in Leeds.
”Some people say the Leeds market is already over-saturated with lawyers but we will go our own way, the Freeths way, as it has served us well and I am personally and professionally confident that we will make an impact,” he added.
Chief executive Peter Smith added that the firm would be expanding its Leeds presence “very quickly”.
Meanwhile Freeth Cartwright has also elected a new managing partner for its Leicester office. Litigator Mukesh Patel takes over from Mary Mackintosh, who in turn picked up the role from Julian Middleton. Middleton was named as Nottingham managing partner in April this year.
Mackintosh is still with the firm.
The firm has also strengthened its capabilities in Leicester with the hire of Marrons principal solicitor Emma Tattersdill as a legal director in its environmental group and the promotion of real estate lawyer Harjit Saund to senior associate.