Squire Sanders property litigator quits for sole practice

A Squire Sanders partner who specialised in property litigation has left the firm’s London office to set up his own boutique, claiming he can do the same work for clients at half the price.

William Lawrence
William Lawrence

William Lawrence left his job as Squire Sanders’ London head of property litigation to established WH Lawrence Solicitors – a Holborn-based boutique property litigation practice – on 7 January. The practice will act for commercial landlords and tenants, charities and deveopers, as well as dealing with land disputes.

Lawrence, who is the firm’s sole practitioner, told The Lawyer that he had been working on between 10 and 12 significant cases at Squire Sanders and was able to talk the bulk of the work with him when he left, describing his departure from the firm as amicable.

“In some ways [the decision to set up a boutique] was a lifestyle choice,” said Lawrence. “And in some ways I just thought that there’s got to be a a market for a more direct relationship with clients.

“Unsurprisingly, clients with property disputes look to instruct experienced property litigators but can no longer accept some of the hourly rates offered throughout London.”

Lawrence said that his boutique’s rates would be half those offered by law firms like Squire Sanders.

Before joining Squire Sanders as a partner in 2007, Lawrence spent a year as head of property litigation at Finers Stephens Innocent – which merged with Howard Kennedy on 1 February (1 February 2013) – and before that he was a solicitor at SJ Berwin.