Midlands-based Rothley Law, has acquired the entire private client business of Shoosmiths encompassing teams in wealth protection, disputed wills & trusts, and Court of Protection.
The 41-strong team, led by partners Melissa Maple, Adam Draper and Lucy Taylor, will operate from offices in Birmingham, Leicester, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Reading. Existing clients will also transfer as part of the move. The transfer follows a strategic review by Shoosmiths last year that led to the firm withdrawing from private client and family services.
Rothley says it plans to build on its consumer law offering with further office openings in Bristol and Leeds later this year, and through further acquisition of firms, business units, or teams of lawyers.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, was supported by litigation funder and lender to law firms, Harbour, as it broadens its investment to include funding the growth of law firms via credit facilities, loans, and portfolio case funding.
Chair of Rothley Law is former Norton Rose Fulbright partner, John Verrill. He says: “This is a significant milestone in the development of Rothley Law as we seek to build a nationally recognised consumer brand. The Shoosmiths team is extremely well-regarded amongst clients and through its collaborative work with other advisers, and we are looking forward to working with the team in innovative ways to grow and develop the firm.
“Part of that growth will come through lateral hires, but as an independent firm and with Harbour’s backing, we have the flexibility and appetite for further acquisitions, with a number of potential opportunities clearly in our sights.”
Rothley is part of the Rothley Group, which also houses one of the country’s leading specialist financial services claims management businesses, Money Redress Limited.
Ellora MacPherson, managing director and chief investment officer at Harbour, says: “This is another example of how Harbour is providing flexible financial support to help law firms grow. Unlike many traditional lenders, our capital can be used for multiple purposes – in this case, for an acquisition. This quarter we have finalised commitments for a number of other similar investments, with others in the pipeline, as law firms are realising the benefits of partnering with a flexible lender who really understands legal businesses.”