Law firm expands footprint into South West as merger completes

Sarah Walker-Smith and Richard Hill

Law firm Shakespeare Martineau has completed its merger with Bristol-headquartered firm GL Law, expanding its reach into the South West for the first time.

Adding more than 60 people to the Shakespeare Martineau team and the first gateway to the region via an office hub in Bristol, the GL Law team will bolster Shakespeare Martineau’s existing expertise while further expanding its sector specialisms.

Part of legal and professional services group Ampa, Shakespeare Martineau’s Bristol expansion is in line with the wider group strategy of investing in and bolstering the brands across the group’s portfolio. The union will help take the group’s turnover to more than £100m for financial year 2022/23.

There are no redundancies as part of the merger and the firm is proactively looking to recruit talent in the Bristol market.

Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO of Shakespeare Martineau and Ampa, said: “We’re thrilled the merger is now official and GL Law is part of Shakespeare Martineau.

“Our House of Brands strategy includes a combination of introducing new standalone brands to the group or combining new teams or entities with our current leading brands. In the case of GL Law, its existing legal offering and its market, it made sense for it to join Shakespeare Martineau and expand the footprint of this brand within our group.”

Richard Hill, managing director at GL Law, said: “What’s crucial for us is continuation of service for our clients and the best opportunities for our people – this merger offers both. We’ve been acting for owner-managed businesses, SMEs, start-ups and some of the most discerning private clients across the Southwest and beyond for more than 300 years and we look forward to continuing and extending this legacy under the Shakespeare Martineau brand.”

GL Law’s Bristol hub will become Shakespeare Martineau’s eleventh  location, adding to its current presence in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull, Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, London, Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Edinburgh.

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