Coffin Mew’s social housing team goes to Capsticks

Capsticks has acquired Coffin Mew’s social housing team in a move that will enable it to compete with rivals such as Devonshires and Trowers & Hamlins.

From 1 June, Coffin Mew’s Southampton-based team of 28 lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff will comprise a south coast Capsticks office. The team includes partners Jennifer Bennett, Kevin Steele and Mike Owen.

Capsticks is looking to expand the practice nationwide but acknowledges that that the public sector is struggling.

A firm spokesperson said: “It’s a tough time for all public sector businesses, but we hope with careful business planning we can work with our clients to ensure they get the right people at the right level handling their work.”

She added: “Social housing fits really neatly with our social care strategy and particularly with our real estate and social enterprise work and complements our health and regulatory practices.”

Coffin Mew managing partner Miles Brown said: “The main benefit is that it allows us to concentrate on other work. Social housing was always a separate part of the business.”

He added that the decision “does go back to the whole way that social housing and the public sector tender to large organisations for work. You can’t be all things to all men.”

Capsticks’ revenue rose by 1 per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12 to £30.1m, continuing an upward trend since 2008 despite the economic downturn.

In January, Hill Dickinson acquired DLA Piper’s defendant insurance practice (28 January 2013).