Keystone ends recruitment drive at 132 lawyers

Keystone Law has closed its 14-month recruitment drive with the addition of a final eight lawyers into its property, employment and insurance teams, bringing the total number to 132.

The eight lawyers include former RadcliffesLeBrasseur partner and founder member of the Law Society’s employment committee Stephen Levinson, DAC Beachcroft property partner Andrew Cooper and Squire Sanders head of planning Oliver Goodwin. 

Keystone launched the campaign to attract 50 senior lawyers in July 2012 (12 July 2012), to support its plans to increase turnover to £25m over three years. The firm’s revenue rose by 9.8 per cent last year, from £11.2m in 2011/12 to £12.3m at the end of 2012/13.

Keystone’s managing partner James Knight said that attention would now move to improving the firm’s facilities and building the Keystone brand.

He said despite the focus shifting to other business imperatives he would not “turn equivalent individuals away”, adding “it was never the plan to be just a platform for good lawyers, we are a law firm in our own right”.

The firm will convert to ABS status on 21 October, having received regulatory approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority last month (19 August 2013). It will restructure the management, enabling non-solicitor Charles Stringer, who founded Keystone with managing partner James Knight, to become a director of the firm.

Knight confirmed that talks are ongoing with various parties about joint ventures in Australia, Tel Aviv, Ireland and at least one other offshore jurisdiction. The firm kicked off its international expansion strategy by opening its first overseas office in Guernsey in July (16 July 2013).

The eight lawyers that have joined the firm most recently are:

Employment

· Stephen Levinson – partner at RadcliffesLeBrasseur.
· David Fenton – head of employment at Statham Gill Davies.

Property

· Andrew Cooper – partner at DAC Beachcroft.
· Lara Cole – consultant at Eversheds, and former group legal counsel for Targetfollow Group.
· Laura Rogers – solicitor at Kent County Council.

Planning

· Oliver Goodwin – head of planning at Squire Sanders.

Insurance

· Daniel Crockford – assistant solicitor at Greenwoods.
·Alex Penberthy – assistant solicitor at Greenwoods.