Shakespeares takes on investment expert

Birmingham law firm Shakespeares has appointed practising solicitor Graham Englefield to head its investment management department with a brief to extend the product range and the fund value of its financial services business.

Englefield, 32, joins Shakespeares after five years with City firm Peachey & Co where he specialised in private client business as assistant solicitor.

Nicholas Grazebrook, partner in charge of private client work at Shakespeares, appointed Englefield to head the four strong department after advertising for candidates across the investment management field.

Englefield says he hopes his legal qualification will add another dimension to handling the firm's financial services, compared with other firms who buy in expertise.

"Having a solicitor in the investment department makes discussions with other legal fee earners slightly more easy. It means you have an instant rapport and are speaking the same language," he says.

The firm has around u40 million of clients' funds under management. Englefield says this is comfortably beyond the "critical mass" to justify a stand-along investment management division.

But he says that achieving growth in the firm's financial service activities will be his priority. The firm leads the legal field in the Midlands in terms of the scale of its investment management activities.

"We are one of the larger investment managers within the profession, but we are small in the market place as a whole," he says.

Englefield says spells on secondment to fund house Foreign & Colonial and at bankers and stockbrokers Brown Shipley convinced him to specialise full time in the financial services field.