West Midland law firm Challinors is celebrating record recruitment levels following the appointment of five trainee solicitors to the firm.
Staff numbers now total 200, a major milestone.
It comes after a re-branding from Challinors Lyon Clark to Challinors - a name by which the firm is widely known in the marketplace.
The new trainees - Darren Cox, Jody Kite, Lorna Shastri-Hurst, Nyla Yousuf and Emma Musgrave - will be working in each of Challinors' three offices in Birmingham city centre, West Bromwich and Edgbaston.
Trevor Lee, senior partner, said: "2005 has been a year to remember in many ways for Challinors as we have met our targets and, in many cases, our successes have exceeded our hopes and expectations. Reaching the 200-marker is a significant milestone in the life of the firm and, with the relocation of several fee-earners to our city centre office, we are really making our mark on the regional marketplace.
"This landmark comes as we introduce a new, shortened name and a new look to the Challinors brand.
"We have also taken this opportunity to re-affirm our key targets for the coming years with our continued commitment to investing in Birmingham and the Black Country and to build on our already extensive range of services. I am convinced that departments must specialise these days and, to do this effectively, they must have sufficient depth. We remain dedicated to growing our teams of specialist staff and are constantly open to new avenues of development."
Staff turnover figures for Challinors are recorded at just ten per cent, which is one of the lowest turnover rates in the in industry's regional market. Additionally, in the past five years more than 80 per cent of all trainees have remained with the firm post qualification, while one third of all newly qualified solicitors at the firm are from minority backgrounds.
Of the five new trainees, four completed their legal practice certificate qualifications at the College of Law in Birmingham and the fifth studied at the University of Wolverhampton.
They will get experience in various areas of the law including the property, dispute resolution, personal injury and family departments of the firm.
Mr Lee continued: "Our success in recruiting and retaining staff, especially in a changeable and unsettled marketplace, can be attributed to several factors.
"For both trainees and newly qualified solicitors our strength lies in the fact that we are able to offer experience across the spectrum of legal disciplines as well as providing a high level of support and guidance throughout the early stages of career development. While at the other end of the spectrum we actively support our staff in developing and growing their individual teams and departments."
The firm, as it is known today, is the result of a merger between former local firms Challinors and Lyon Clark, which took place in 1996. The roots of both practices lie firmly in the Black Country, firstly with sole practitioner James Clark whose West Bromwich based business was set up in the 1930s. His brother, Lyon Clark, later joined him and took full control following his death.
Challinors has 26 partners, 19 associates, 15 assistant solicitors, 20 fee earners, nine trainees and 111 support staff.