Simpson Millar today announced the acquisition of parts of EAD Solicitors in Liverpool as the first step in its new £50m investment growth strategy.
The deal enables Simpson Millar to extend its geographical footprint into the northwest, adding to its network of 8 offices across the UK whilst building on EAD’s strong reputation in Liverpool and its close relationship with a number of large Trade Unions.
New 5 Year Strategy
The acquisition follows a strategic review of Simpson Millar by the management team after Doorway, an independent and specialist provider of capital to law firms, became the firm’s new owner in January 2018.
Through this investment, Simpson Millar will seek to build its brand and market share while using technology to deliver an enhanced client experience through new operational platforms and quicker internal processes. It will also seek to give clients greater choice in how they meet their legal needs, providing them with options ranging from full service, assisted service and self-service, all offered at different prices.
Under the ownership of Doorway, Simpson Millar has taken steps to reduce its cost base (by over 20%) and improve its internal operations. According to CEO Greg Cox, “the firm is now ideally placed to respond to market opportunities and create a significant force within the consumer legal services market”.
The firm has:
- Put in place an experienced senior management team with a blend of legal and other sector experience
- Reduced its operational cost base by over 20%
- Closed a number of ‘non-core’ legal departments while re-structuring its internal legal teams into 3 client facing practice groups
- Agreed financial backing in the form of a 5-year strategic investment plan from its new owners
- Reviewed its current systems and developed a £2.5m investment to improve its technology platform
- Started a significant brand review to ensure that the firm is best positioned to capitalise and appeal to those people with unmet legal needs.
The acquisition of EAD is just one of a number of similar deals that the firm is currently reviewing.
These on-going discussions range from the purchase of existing books of business (WIP books) to the acquisition of other law firms, with the aim to create a business of scale and volume, and to be one of the leading consumer law firms in the UK.
The acquisition of EAD will see over 70 colleagues, including 11 partners, join Simpson Millar; with the combined firm comprising of just over 470 employees and with a fee income of £30m. Ian Cohen, National Head of Personal Injury & Medical Negligence and a member of Simpson Millar’s senior management team, will be based out of the new office in Liverpool.
Greg Cox, CEO of Simpson Millar said, “EAD Solicitors is an excellent fit with Simpson Millar. Both Firms share a similarly rich heritage of supporting Trade Unions and the Trade Union movement. We believe that the combined firm can better service its existing clients.
After securing significant investment in the business from its owners, we are very excited about the future and the potential opportunities that lie ahead for the combined business”
Cathy Fielding, a Partner at EAD who will join the Simpson Millar team said, “This is a deal that works for both businesses, reflecting our shared values of putting our clients first. This acquisition strengthens the legal offer to clients across the region and we are delighted to be joining Simpson Millar”.