It’s an education for Schofield Sweeney

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LAW firm Schofield Sweeney hopes to win more clients in the education sector after securing a key acquisition and seeing its turnover rise.

Managing partner Chris Schofield said the firm would also consider hiring more specialist lawyers to ensure it has “more clubs in the bag” to help it secure work.

He added: “Whenever we see an opportunity that fits and makes us stronger, we will take it. The recession proved to be good for us; we won some market share and looked after our clients.”

Schofield Sweeney recently acquired the Leeds-based Cohen Cramer’s dental law practice. As a result, Schofield Sweeney, which has offices in Leeds and Bradford, now offers a range of legal services for dentists, dental agents, accountants and financial advisers. The firm has also provided advice to Bradford-based Airedale Group, a commercial kitchen and catering equipment company, in connection with its acquisition of South Coast Catering.

According to Mr Schofield, the acquisition of the new dental practice, along with partner David McEwan, has added to the firm’s strength in depth.

This year the company has achieved revenue of around £7m, which is a year-on-year increase of just under 10 per cent. In 2007, before the slump, Schofield Sweeney had a turnover of around £5m.

Mr Schofield believes the firm’s prudent financial approach, and the fact it wasn’t overly-reliant on sectors such as property, helped it to prosper during the recession.

Established in 1998, the firm has 95 staff, including 23 partners, who are split between the Leeds and Bradford offices.

Recent high profile arrivals at the firm, such as employment partner Catherine Wilson and corporate recovery specialist David Arundel, have also brought in extra work.

Schofield Sweeney has grown its educational work, and now acts for around 200 schools.

Mr Schofield believes that the firm has proved attractive to schools because it provides a cost effective, round the clock service.

He believes changes to the legal sector’s regulatory framework will pose a challenge for many firms.

He added: “There’s going to be lots of consolidation in the market. There are some very good new firms in the region.”