LHS now employs 120 staff between offices on Lansdowne Road in Croydon and Manchester and is aiming to triple fee income within five years.
Richard Candy, managing director of the Croydon-based firm, said: “This merger and re-brand makes perfect sense and is in line with the strategic vision we set out when we became an ABS and then acquired LHS back in 2013. Combining the resources of Abbey Legal and LHS and sharing our expertise across one recognisable brand focuses our sales and marketing plan and delivers a more seamless and consistent client service. We’re ambitious but confident in our vision to triple the fee income in the practice within five years. We’re delighted to lead our employees forward in this new direction.”
Ian Lewis, senior partner at LHS said: “It has always been part of the strategic vision to scale the LHS brand to a wider market in terms of legal services to businesses. We intend to keep growing the firm and move forward together with a compelling strategy to continue competing with the premier law firms in the country with our regulatory, crime and business law services.”
Murray Fairclough, legal services director, said: “We’re excited at this next step in our journey and we are now in a position to take advantage of all the good things being a progressive ABS brings. We have other plans in the pipeline and we’re looking forward to delivering on these during 2015 and 2016.”
Graham Small, senior partner at LHS, said: “We’re delighted to fully integrate our teams and maintain our growth plans for LHS. We will now be able to offer more businesses and individuals a wider variety of legal services accessible in ways that suit them best.”
Abbey Legal is part of Abbey Protection Group, an integrated specialist fee protection insurance and legal advisory group. It offers legal expenses insurance and has around 250,000 business clients in the UK ranging from SMEs to PLCs. It handles around 200,000 phone calls per year to its legal advice call centre. Clients include the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Fostering Network.
In March, the firm scooped medium-sized Law Firm of the year and Regulatory Team of the Year in the Manchester Legal Awards 2015.
The two practices were already connected after AIM-listed legal expenses insurer Abbey Protection plc, an alternative business structure (ABS) under the 2007 Legal Services Act, acquired Lewis Hymanson Small (LHS) in 2013. Then, in 2014, US insurance and investment company Markel Corporation acquired Abbey giving the firms the backing and resources of the NYSE listed organisation.
The focus for the new LHS brand will be to scale up activity in four key areas: regulatory and criminal, telephone legal advice, business legal services and corporate work.
Pictured:Richard Candy, Murray Fairclough, Ian Lewis, Graham Small