Hill Dickinson offloads Chester office to Knights

Private equity-backed Knights Solicitors has bolted on four partners and 20 staff through the acquisition of Hill Dickinson’s Chester office.

Peter Jackson, Hill Dickinson

Hill Dickinson said the move was part of a revised strategy to focus on and grow its international profile. Managing partner of Hill Dickinson Peter Jackson said: “Although we were approached by a number of impressive interested parties, we felt that Knight’s business model and entrepreneurial approach would provide an expansive and rewarding future for the Chester office as a whole and for its individuals – and we feel it will be in very safe hands.”

Knights will be joined by corporate partner Sally Wightman and commercial property partner Robin Jones as part of the move. Knights has not named the remaining two partners. They will be joined by 20 staff.

The move comes just a year after Knights agreed a deal to take investment from former Dragons’ Den investor James Caan’s private equity house Hamilton Bradshaw (12 June 2012).

Earlier this month Knights appointed a team of six town planners to the firm’s real estate team from Staffordshire-based planning practice John Rose Associates, led by Carl Copestake (8 July 2013).

The announcement comes just a week after the Midlands firm highlighted ambitions to break into The Lawyer UK Top 20 through a string of acquisitions (22 July 2013).

james caan

Caan said: “The legal sector is an attractive investment opportunity for Hamilton Bradshaw as it’s a people business and we have had a lot of success in investing in people businesses. In Knights, we found a law firm with innovative leadership and vision and with a real opportunity to expand.”

Knights was awarded an ABS licence by the SRA at the end of last year (19 December 2012).

Hill Dickinson put a number of jobs at risk in firm-wide business review earlier this year (29 April 2013). The full number of job’s cut has not yet been released.