Shakespeares continues Midlands growth with two new mergers

Shakespeares has expanded again through two bolt-on acquisitions as it continues in its bid to be a £50m mid-tier heavyweight by 2014.

Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson

The firm has confirmed the addition of Leicester-based Marrons, first mooted in May (31 May 2013) while also tying up with Coventry-based Newsome Vaughan.

Marrons is intended to boost Shakespeares’ planning and property practices with Marrons’ team of solicitors and town planners while  Newsome Vaughan, its seventh merger, adds social housing and financial services expertise.

The 65-strong Newsome Vaughan team will all move to Shakespeare on 1 October but it is thought that the social housing team will relocate to the firm’s Stratford-upon-Avon office in October while the rest of the team will move in 2014.

Meanwhile, the Marrons merger took place earlier this week (1 September) and saw three teams join Shakespeares. The 32 staff will be split between a legal planning team, a property law team and a town planning and consultancy team staffed by non-lawyers, made possible by the firm’s succesful transition to an ABS in May (10 July 2013).

Shakespeares chief executive Paul Wilson said: “The mergers again demonstrate our commitment to the East and South Midlands, our clients and markets. In Leicester the Marrons merger also underlines our significant investment in the city with the opening of our new city centre base at Two Colton Square last month.”

The news follows a period of acquisitions by Shakespeares, the largest being with Harvey Ingram in July 2012, which made the firm the second largest in the Midlands behind Wragg & Co (16 July 2012). Staff numbers had already doubled at the firm since April 2012, shooting up from 398 to 680 at the end of the last financial year.

Wilson has stated his intent to reach a turnover of £50m by 2014 through lateral hires and the acquisition of niche practices. The firm posted a revenue of £39.6m in 2012/13, up 34 per cent on the previous year (1 July 2013).

The newly-formed Marrons Shakespeares planning team will advise private and public sector clients and will move from the Meridian Business Park to the new Shakespeares’ Leicester city centre base.