Langleys sets sights on being a top 100 law firm within a year

YORK-based Langleys plans to become a top 100 law firm within the next year, as it seeks to grow by acquisition and hiring more staff.

Langleys has recruited almost 40 staff in the last year, and it could set up operations in other parts of the UK, in response to client demand.

The company expects to grow it 358-strong workforce this year, which already includes more than 30 partners.

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Langleys has attracted a range of new clients including Santander, Indesit, Bauer Media, North Yorkshire County Council and the Danwood Group.

Around 6,500 sq ft of extra office space has been secured in central York to accommodate its residential conveyancing division and accounts teams.

David Thompson, the managing partner at Langleys, which also has an office in Lincoln, said yesterday: “The winning of major contracts from new and existing clients, together with revenue growth, staff recruitment at all levels, and office expansion, are testament to the success which we continue to see as a business, and which are aligned to the firm’s strategic objectives.”

The firm’s turnover is expected to rise from £18.8m to around £20.8m over the next financial year.

However, Mr Thompson stressed that Langleys would only chase profitable growth.

He added: “That’s allied not only to PEP (profits per equity partner) but also to our cost base. Our PEP figure is up 18 per cent in the last financial year – that’s £252,000.

“We’ve brought in a number of lateral hires over the last 12 months and beyond.

“We’re seeing a return on investment on those in specialist areas, property litigation and construction. Our traditional areas such as private client and agriculture are very strong indeed.

“Our insurance business is very profitable, and growing extremely rapidly. We’ve got very ambitious plans to grow over the next two to three years. Ten per cent growth is forecast for next year, and we’re on track to achieve that.

“We’re anticipating further growth with similar margins which will bring us well into the top 100.

“That’s important for us as a milestone. Beyond that, we will look to other opportunities, either through potential mergers or acquisitions.

“For us merger is a strategy, it’s not something we’re looking at as a remedy.

“We would need to look at what added value that particular merger would bring. There needs to be a clear strategic reason for any merger.”

Mr Thompson also revealed that Langleys would consider expanding outside its traditional heartland in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

He added: “So far as organic growth is concerned, we would may be look at other offices in other geographical locations through client demand. Clients may expect us to look at other areas.

“The York to London rail link is very important to us. York has been traditionally very strong in the rail industry, and we act for a number of important clients who are giving us work in areas which, historically, we’ve not been involved in, such as property litigation.”