Acquisitive Shakespeares hires Guildhall Chambers’ CEO to drive further growth

Midlands firm Shakespeares has appointed Guildhall Chambers chief executive Hamish Munro as commercial director as it pushes to hit turnover of £50m by the 2012-13 year-end.

Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson

Munro ha been succeeded at the Bristol set by former Speaker’s Trust chief executive Jeremy Sweetland, who joined chambers last month.

Shakespeares chief executive Paul Wilson said Munro had been appointed to support the growth of the firm’s client base. “Hamish’s brief is to embed our existing clients and attract new clients to help us grow the business organically,” Wilson said.

The firm has grown turnover from £9m to £30m through a series of mergers over the past five years and Wilson said the trend would continue. “Our strategy is to build a leading mid-tier firm in the Midlands,” he explained.

Most recently Shakespeares’ acquired Solihull-based Wood Glaister (1 November 2011), this came after it acquired Nottingham-based Berryman in autumn 2010 (18 August 2010) and Midlands rival Needham & James in June 2010 (8 June 2010).

Wilson said the firm was currently not interested in taking an external cash injection via a conversion to alternative business structure.

“At this point we don’t need the external cash, we have the money generated by our own business,” he said. “If we wanted to accelerate our growth we would consider a partnership.”

The priority, however, is to drive through self-funded growth. “We’re focusing on what we do best – mergers and acquisitions. We want to be upward of £50m this time next year, and we would prefer to be the consolidator as opposed to consolidated,” Wilson said. “If we can’t achieve that we’ll probably become the consolidated.”