Law firm eyes growth through acquisition as it marks 40 years in business

Stewart Vandermark

The CEO of an East Midlands law practice has told that his firm is looking to grow through the acquisition of smaller regional firms – and has committed its future to Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.

Stewart Vandermark says that Nelsons, which was bought earlier this year by private equity-backed Lawfront, will look to grow by snapping up smaller city firms – as well as through continued organic growth.

He told us: “We began speaking with Lawfront around a year ago and got to know them well over a period of time. We recognised early on that there was a nice alliance and that the deal would allow us to stay on our patch and build. There was a good fit and a shared culture.

“We’ll look to grow Nelsons through strategic acquisitions – we’re excited about that.

“One of the reasons we agreed the deal with Lawfront is that they made it very clear why they wanted to retain the Nelsons brand – and the advantages we’d have of becoming part of a bigger group. Lawfront has expertise that is a level up – and we have access to that knowledge.”

Vandermark said that Nelsons was committed to its offices in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham – but wasn’t looking to expand its network outside of those three East Midlands cities.

He added: “The plan is to build in those three cities. We have capacity to grow in all three offices and we want to remain a key player in the markets there – and grow our teams.

“I think it’s become harder and harder to be a small player in the legal sector. The Top 100 firms have become bigger and bigger over the last 10-15 years – it’s become more difficult to be a small firm in the middle.”

Nelsons is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and Vandermark and his team have created 40 pledges for its 40th year in business.

He said: “Some of these initiatives are new, some are existing and ongoing. We wanted to give something back to the local community – and also have a way of celebrating the milestone throughout the year. It’ll set a good foundation as we plan for the next 40 years of Nelsons.”