Lester Aldridge to double Southampton headcount

South East firm Lester Aldridge is planning to double the size of its Southampton office over the next two years as it embarks on an aggressive expansion campaign.

The plan is to increase the size of the office from 35 to around 70 lawyers over the next two years through a series of hires at partner and associate levels.

Managing partner Roger Woolley told The Lawyer: “Southampton as a city has grown significantly since we first set up here five years ago and we’ve found it a good base from which to sell services to other parts of the country.”

Southampton was the firm’s second office after being founded in Bournemouth.

Lester Aldridge has expanded rapidly in recent years through a series of unions. In November 2004 the firm launched in London, where it merged with 200-year-old real estate, commercial services and private client firm Park Nelson. It now has 12 lawyers in London.

Last year it also launched in Milton Keynes with a team of asset finance lawyers from Shoosmiths.

This in turn led to a dramatic rise in the firm’s turnover. For the financial year 2004-05 revenue at the firm shot up by 16.8 per cent to £16m.