Law firm’s city operation doubles in 12 months as demand surges

Hall Brown Family Law says a substantial increase in work handled by its Sheffield team is behind its latest expansion.

In addition to the hiring of two new senior lawyers from one of its rivals, the firm is relocating to larger offices in the city.

Both Melanie Hadwin, who has arrived as a senior associate, and associate solicitor Emma Hubbard have become the latest individuals to switch to Hall Brown from Irwin Mitchell.

They join partner Alison Fernandes and consultants Martin Loxley and Zoe Round. Both Fernandes and Round had previously headed Irwin Mitchell’s family law team in Sheffield, while Loxley is the former national head of that firm’s family division.

Fernandes, who leads Hall Brown’s operations in the city, explained that further recruitment and a rise in caseload had prompted the move to a new base at Fountain Precinct, in the city centre.

She added: “The last 12 months have been incredibly busy. That is one reason why we are so excited to have Melanie and Emma join us. They are already very well-known for their legal knowledge and their emphasis on looking after clients is a superb fit with our own core values.

“Hardening economic circumstances over the last year have made more families consider how they protect their wealth.

“That has not just been reflected in what happens before couples marry or when they divorce but how, for instance, parents help children get onto the property ladder at the start of their own relationships while protecting whatever money they pass on.

“These are challenging times for households across Yorkshire and we’re doing our best to provide some reassurance.”

Prior to spending a decade with Irwin Mitchell, Hadwin worked at another well-known local firm, Howells.

During the course of her near 20-year career, she has advised some of the most prominent figures in the area’s business community on a range of family law financial issues.

Hubbard has developed a reputation for her skill in dealing with children’s law matters since qualifying as a solicitor in 2008.

Although working out of Hall Brown’s new Sheffield offices, she will form part of the firm’s fast-growing children’s law team – headed by Manchester-based partner Katie Welton-Dillon.

Hall Brown’s Sheffield operation has doubled in size in the last 12 months and now numbers 10 staff. A second Hall Brown office in Yorkshire – in Leeds – launched in April last year.

The firm has its headquarters at the Grade II-listed Ship Canal House in Manchester and a London team based at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

Hall Brown now employs a total of 61 people, 47 of whom are fee earners. In the last full financial year, the business saw its turnover increase from £4.1m to £5.4m.