Leigh Day Manchester office sets up on its own

Leigh Day & Co’s London and Manchester offices have parted ways after the North West four-partner group opted to set up as a separate entity.

The new firm, McCool Patterson Hemsi & Co, is expected to take the assets and entire client base in Manchester, and will begin trading today (24 May).

It is understood that overhead differentials (the firm’s administration was centralised in London) and the separate client bases of Leigh Day’s London and Manchester offices were behind the schism. The split leaves Leigh Day with a single 16-partner London office.

The firm has reported turnover of £7m for the past financial year, of which the four-partner Manchester office contributed £1.5m.

McCool Patterson will specialise in high-value personal injury, clinical negligence, industrial disease and aviation litigation. One of its high-profile instructions is advising the families of UK soldiers killed in the Iraq conflict.

Leigh Day managing partner Martyn Day said: “It’s sad and we’re fond of them, but from a financial and commercial perspective, we’d reached a stage where [the link] was no longer viable.”