Simpson Millar has announced its third acquisition in two months as it pushes forward with its growth strategy while simultaneously launching its new corporate identity and the first phase of what will be a ‘significant investment’ in the firm’s digital platform over the coming year.
The acquisition of JWK which employs over 50 staff across its three offices in Lancaster, Morecambe and Southport, establishes the firm as one of the largest providers of consumer and business legal services in Lancashire and the South Lakes; taking the number of Simpson Millar offices to 11 across England and Wales.
The announcement coincides with the launch of the firm’s new website and corporate identity which has been developed as part of ongoing plans to provide clients with a simpler and more accessible way to get the legal advice they need.
Greg Cox, CEO of Simpson Millar, said: “This latest acquisition is part of our growth strategy to build the firm into a leading national law firm, and forms part of our commitment to expanding our presence across the North West”.
“JWK has a reputation for providing the very best legal advice through an ‘honest and down to earth approach’ which fits with our culture, and we believe that the two firms are a great fit”.
“What the JWK team will bring to the table will only add to, and further enhance, the depth and breadth of experience that Simpson Millar already offers to its clients”.
The announcement today follows Simpson Millar acquiring Liverpool based law firm EAD in September.
Craig Hollingdrake, former Managing Partner of JWK who joins Simpson Millar as Partner commented; “We are delighted to be joining Simpson Millar at this exciting time in their journey. The acquisition enables JWK to strengthen the team and bolster the range of services we can offer to our clients; while also benefiting from the support that being part of a national firm with substantial resources can bring”.
The investment growth strategy follows a review earlier in the year by the firm’s owner Doorway and the management team at Simpson Millar. Its plan, which seeks to capitalise on the opportunities in the consumer legal market driven through continued regulatory reform, cost pressures and changing client demands, will focus on marketing, technology and its people.
As part of this, Simpson Millar undertook a review of the legal market, looking at what clients are looking for when seeking legal help and advice. It also looked at its own market profile and how it is perceived by its clients. Research undertaken as part of this review identified that, despite regulatory reform and the opening up of the legal market, the majority of people in the UK still see law firms as unfriendly and unapproachable, with many seeing law as being provided within a ‘black box’, a mysterious process with uncertainty around what the final outcome and costs will be.
Following this review, the firm has undertaken a significant re-brand which is also launched today along with its new website.
Greg Cox stated “We have looked hard at how people want to deal with their lawyers. There is a real need to ‘open up’ the law, making law firms more accessible and approachable. We believe our new identity promotes this. And, combined with a number of new initiatives planned for the early part of 2019 will see the firm begin to break down the barriers that exist in people obtaining the legal help and support they need, when they need it and at a price they understand”