Colmore Row law firm Shoosmiths has more than tripled the size of its Birmingham restructuring and insolvency team after a jump in demand from faltering firms hit by the credit crunch.
Partner and head of department James Keates has seen the original team of two grow to seven people within the last three months alone. It now comprises associates Daryl Shorthose and Charles Williams; solicitors Monica Kapur; Aaron Harlow and Stephen Leslie; and paralegal Kuldip Johal.
The newest recruits, associate Charles Williams and solicitor Stephen Leslie, were appointed in November. Mr Williams, who joined from Cobbetts, qualified in 2001. He specialises in non-contentious restructuring and insolvency, advising directors, banks and insolvency practitioners. Mr Leslie, who qualified in 2005, joined from BPE Solicitors. His focus is on contentious insolvency work, with a bias towards corporate insolvency.
Aaron Harlow, who joined the firm from Eversheds in July this year, trained at Cobbetts and qualified in 2007. His experience includes negotiating sale and purchase agreements, and advising insolvency practitioners on all aspects of the insolvency process.
Paralegal Kuldip Johal graduated from Birmingham University and undertook the LPC at the College of Law, Birmingham. Kuldip joined Shoosmiths from Eversheds, in October.
The team has acted in connection with 23 separate administrations within the first six months of Keates’ arrival.
The team is currently acting for administrators at Deloittes on the Chase Midlands Development Group’s 94-apartment development in Harborne, which went into administration in August, and for KPMG in their administration of East Midlands-based sub-prime mortgage lender, Edeus.
Mr Keates said: “The incredible, but very careful growth of our team has made a significant impact on the local market already.
“The present level of expertise within the team is allowing us to attract higher value, more complex restructuring and insolvency work to the firm. Coupled with the level of experience that already existed in the team, prior to the appointment of our newest recruits, we’re now well placed to further enhance our client base and to confirm our strengthened position within the market.”
Shoosmiths was named the most efficient of the new law firms to come into the city in the last couple of years. It has the highest revenue-per-lawyer figure, at £297,000.