The Midlands branch of one of the world’s biggest law firms is set to become a significant player in its own right after agreeing to split from its multi-national parent company.
Twenty five lawyers and numerous support staff are to spin-off from Blythe Valley-based Reed Smith under the new banner of Hill Hofstetter in ther New Year.
Each side stressed that the split was completely amicable and stated that some clients will continue to be served by both Hill Hofstetter and Reed Smith.
Managing partner Chris Hill will remain in his role, heading up a management team that includes Jonathan Hofstetter, Ranjit Dhindsa and Steve Barker. Business manager Jo Wilde will become chief operating officer.
Much of the other work undertaken from the office relates to projects outside the UK, and specialties range from high-level commercial litigation, corporate and commercial law, to commercial property and employment.
Mr Hofstetter has a specialist practice dedicated to French corporates while Mr Hill’s expertise is in offshore trusts and taxation and he described the move as a natural progression for the organisation.
Mr Hill said: “We have a great business with an exciting future. It makes commercial sense to de-link Birmingham from Reed Smith as Birmingham is a viable business in its own right and no longer strategically dependent on the London office or wider international network, for its success.
“We believe that we will benefit from moving to a stand-alone basis and look forward to a strong referral relationship continuing between both firms.”
The office was initially opened by Warner Cranston in 1995 and joined the Reed Smith network as part of its merger with Warner Cranston in 2001.
Reed Smith has grown rapidly in recent years to become one of the 15 top law firms in the world. Even after the spin-off it will have 23 offices and more than 1,600 fee earners.
Greg Jordan, global managing partner, said: “This latest strategic development is consistent with the evolution of our firm. We continue to look for ways to shape our firm to best meet the needs of our clients. We will continue to expand in markets essential to our global client base as we have done in markets such as Hong Kong, Beijing and the Silicon Valley over the past year.”
European managing partner, Roger Parker added: “ The spin-off of the Birmingham office presents the best progression for the firm, and for the lawyers and staff in Birmingham.
“We look forward to maintaining a good working relationship with the Birmingham fee-earners and expect to continue to serve some clients together.”