A Midland law firm that has been trading for more than 185 years has created jobs for more lawyers after moving to new offices.
Talbots Solicitors, which employs 160 people across the region, has more than doubled its presence with a move to a new headquarters on Wolverhampton Street, Dudley.
The firm, which now trades as QualitySolicitors Talbots, has invested £500,000 in the expansion and taken on 15 new members of staff.
It has operated since being founded as Talbot and Talbot in Kidderminister in 1828, and remained in the hands of the Talbot family until a buyout in 1991.
Among the new roles created was the appointment of commercial litigation and dispute resolution specialist Peter Adkins.
It came after the firm, which has six offices across the region, revealed an eight per cent turnover rise, and annual sales are on target to reach
£6 million by the end of 2013. Martyn Morgan, director at QualitySolictors Talbots, said the firm has prospered from being prepared to diversify.
He said: “We have a strong management team and we act within strict financial disciplines, and we are prepared to diversify – we have gone where the business has gone.
“Over the last few years legal aid has been less of a strong area, so after the cuts there we have moved more to the private side of the business.
“We are able to spread the risk between publicly-funded and private work, and spread it geographically.”
The 8,500 sq ft office will house a mix of 70 lawyers, support and admin staff and will become the hub for the firm’s business services team.
Talbots has expanded through the recession, with the takeovers of Wolverhampton firm Dunham Brindley and Linn in 2009 and Dudley rival Tanfields in 2010.
However, Mr Morgan said the management team had been waiting for the right time to invest, and had seen a rise in opportunities of late.
He added: “It has been extremely tough and we have had to tighten our belts, and run as a business rather than just as a law practice.
“Too many of our brethren have sat there thinking the work will come to them. We know we have to get out there and find the work.”
Mr Morgan was part of a partnership that took over Talbots from Charles Talbot in 1991.
It had been founded by seven members of the family when the firm was set up while King George IV was on the throne.
John Talbot, the former MP for Brierley Hill, was among the family members to be involved since.
The Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Alan Finch, was invited to mark the official opening of the new office and immediately praised it as a ‘fantastic start’ to ambitious regeneration plans for the town centre.
“Having a well respected company like QualitySolicitors Talbots invest in the future of Dudley is great news and reaffirms its long-term commitment to the area and local people.
“We shared our vision for the transformation of the town centre with them and there was genuine excitement. I expect this relocation to act as a catalyst for attracting future inward investment opportunities.”
QualitySolicitors Talbots has six offices across the West Midlands, with Dudley being joined by Codsall, Halesowen, Kidderminster Stourbridge and Wolverhampton.