Demand surges for legal services as lockdown eases

A start-up Huddersfield law firm established by three residential property and finance experts has recorded its best-ever month of new instructions.

Holden Smith recorded 293 new instructions across its property, litigation, family and wills and probate divisions in June, a 357% increase on the 64 instructions recorded in April.

The news comes after the firm was forced to suspend most of its operations and furlough most of its 20 strong workforce throughout May due to the pandemic.

James Smith, co-founder at Holden Smith, said: “May was a difficult month, particularly across our residential property division, as the housing market came to a complete standstill due to lockdown.

“However, June has been the polar opposite. While it’s certainly difficult to read the market with any certainty at the moment, the temporary stamp duty holiday announced in the chancellor’s summer statement seems to have had the desired effect and incentivised buyers, and has resulted in strong June figures for our residential property team.”

Co-founder, David Bancroft, added: “The reality is that the pandemic has prompted many people to review the division of their estate and ensure they have everything in order, which has led to an upturn in demand for our wills and probate team.

“And the knock-on effect of many businesses ditching offices and switching to a permanent remote working structure has been increased instructions for our property litigation team.”

Holden Smith was founded by Smith, 31, Bancroft, 35 and business partner, Jamie Megson, 32, in February 2019. The company recently opened its second office in the Crossgates area of Leeds and is set to open a third office in Elland at the start of August.