Yorkshire office opening drives expansion at family law firm

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A law firm says the opening of its Yorkshire office has “far exceeded expectations”.

Hall Brown Family Law only took up residence in Sheffield city centre in April but has announced a series of appointments in response to a large volume of new work.

The firm’s senior partner and co-founder Sam Hall says Zoe Barker has joined as office manager, while Edward Davison had been recruited as a paralegal.

And he added that a number of other senior appointments were likely in the coming months.

He said: “We have genuinely been surprised by the speed which the decision to open an office in Sheffield has been reflected in our caseload.

“Even allowing for the progress and profile which we have already established, we had imagined that the process of attracting clients might be gradual but we have been exceptionally busy almost from day one.

“I am convinced that is down to the quality of support which we offer and is one reason why we were so delighted to have our office headed by Alison Fernandes, one of the most respected family lawyers around.

“In both Zoe and Edward, we have been fortunate enough to recruit two very talented individuals who will only enhance our strength in depth. Discussions about increasing our ranks still further in the next few months are also well-advanced.

“At a time when much larger law firms are making redundancies in Yorkshire, I hope our performance provides some evidence of our confidence in the professional capabilities and commitment to clients in the area.”

Hall explained the practice’s move into The Balance office development in Sheffield’s Leopold Square was “a logical response” to a rise in work from the area since the firm launched four years ago.

He said the recruitment of Fernandes had been “a major coup”, giving the firm extra impetus and leading to an influx of cases from across Yorkshire, Derbyshire and even abroad.

Before her decision to join Hall Brown, Fernandes had spent a total of 15 years at Irwin Mitchell in two separate spells.

Like Hall and Fernandes, Barker and Davison are both from Sheffield and have switched from another well-known firm in the city, Prince Family Law.

Hall Brown’s latest recruitment comes only weeks after it made four appointments in Manchester as part of a fresh growth phase which has taken the total number of staff to 43, 31 of whom are fee-earners.

The Sheffield office became the company’s third premises, adding to its headquarters at the Grade II-listed Ship Canal House in Manchester and its London office at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

During the last full financial year, Hall Brown’s turnover topped £4.3m – an increase of £800,000 on the previous 12 months.