Stone King focuses on education with partner addition

Bath firm Stone King has hired education specialist John Clarke from Maitland Walker, making him the firm’s second high-profile hire in this sector in a matter of months.

Clarke, who previously led the education and employment teams at Bevan Brittan and Rickerbys before joining Maitland Walker in 2009, is recognised nationally for his expertise in independent schools.

His hire follows the announcement in May that state school consultant Geoffrey Davies is to join the firm from Lewis Silkin’s academies practice (14 May 2012). This follows last year’s appointment of Graham Burns, a former head of projects for London at Eversheds, who left TPP Law to join the firm’s education team.

Both Clarke and Davies are set to join Stone King at the end of August, with Clarke being based in the firm’s headquarters in Bath and Davies working out of the London office.

The latest hires follow a period of growth at the Bath-headquartered firm, whose revenues grew by 12 per cent last year in the 2010-11 financial year (24 October 2011).

This year the firm has posted a 10.6 per cent hike in turnover from £10.1m to £11.3m, which should bring it firmly inside the UK 200 for the first time. Around 65 per cent of the firm’s revenues came from its work in the charity and education sector last year, according to managing partner Steven Greenwood.

Greenwood became the firm’s first managing partner in May 2011 after joining the firm 23 years ago as a trainee.

Commenting on the latest hire, Greenwood told The Lawyer: “For us it’s the independent schools’ moment and John’s expertise in this sector will give us the ability to further service and develop our clients in this area.”

The hires also comes as Greenwood sets to review the firm’s strategy, which will focus on Stone King’s charity and education and related sectors and on promoting its London office as a launch-pad for future business.