Weightmans heads for Leeds

Liverpool-based Weightmans is to open offices in Leeds and Bristol, following its recent expansion into Manchester.

The firm, which specialises in insurance work, announced its intention to become a national firm in February following the opening of the Manchester office.

The office had been formed from the consolidation of insurance companies, which led to many Liverpool offices being closed.

Partner Mike Ball, who is in charge of the expansion project, said that once the merger with Midlands practice William Hatton was complete, the firm would turn its attentions to establishing offices in Leeds and Bristol.

Both cities have strong insurance markets with the company headquarters of major insurers.

“We will then be on to London when we are ready – but we are not at the moment,” Ball said. He added that he hoped the next two offices would be open by the end of 2000.

The lease on Weightmans' Liverpool premises would run out in two years and the firm is to begin discussions as to whether it would stay in the same building, which is suffering from “concrete cancer”, or move to other premises in the city.

Its Manchester practice currently has eight partners and 45 staff.