Ward Hadaway to open up in Leeds | 04 June 08
LEADING North law firm Ward Hadaway has unveiled its plans to open up in Leeds.
The UK Top 100 firm will make its first move outside its North-East heartland this summer.
It has already recruited an experienced team of lawyers and is nearing agreement on securing office space in Leeds city centre.
Ward Hadaway managing partner, Jamie Martin, said: “I am delighted to officially announce our move to Leeds.
“It is a great city and a terrific place to do business and we are confident that our combination of commercial know-how, client care and acknowledged legal expertise will stand us in great stead.”
Ward Hadaway first announced plans to expand outside its Newcastle base last year.
The full service firm has enjoyed average growth of 13% every year for the past decade and now employs more than 400 people.
Mr Martin said the move into Yorkshire had been partly prompted by the firm’s expanding client base.
He explained: “We have been looking at options to develop the business outside the North-East for some time.
“We already have a number of partners with established reputations in the Leeds and Yorkshire market and we wanted to capitalise on the opportunities that this presented.
“When you look at how our client base has already expanded outside our immediate region, expanding our physical presence was a pretty logical next step.”
Ward Hadaway corporate partner Andrew Hoyle is leading the Leeds office. He was previously senior partner at Newcastle-based Watson Burton, where he masterminded that firm’s expansion to Leeds.
He said: “Our strategy has been to attract quality lawyers to the firm who recognise the opportunities that the firm can offer them and their clients and we feel certain that with the team we have assembled in Leeds, we will rapidly grow as we expand into Yorkshire.
“We expect to establish Ward Hadaway’s position at the upper end of the Leeds market capitalising on the firm’s reputation for offering the market high quality advice from a keenly competitive Northern cost base.
“Experience has taught me that this is a formula for which there is a clear appetite in Leeds. We are expecting to be open in July and look forward to building the firm in the region.”
Five partners and two associates have already joined the Leeds office, which will be supported by Ward Hadaway’s well-established Newcastle base.
The team features former Beachcroft construction partner Paul Washbourne; commercial property partner Kevin Weston, formerly of Cobbetts in Leeds; insolvency partner Steve Thomas, previously at Brooke North in Leeds; former Berrymans Lace Mawer employment partner Alex Clements and property partner Guy Morgan, a healthcare property specialist formerly at Bevan Brittan.
Angelo Basu, previously head of the EU and competition team at Pinsent Masons in Leeds, and former Cobbetts property associate Jonathan Dickson complete the initial line-up.
Jamie Martin said: “We are delighted to have been able to attract lawyers of this calibre to open up our Leeds office.
“We are actively recruiting in the market place and expect to announce a number of significant additional appointments in the near future.”