Shulmans beats growth targets as turnover doubles

A Yorkshire-based law firm is set to report better than expected results as it benefits from its organic growth strategy.

Tim Halstead: Were not looking for mergers, we like our own culture.

Shulmans in Leeds, set out its five-year growth plan to The Yorkshire Post back in 2010, when the firm said it would be looking to increase turnover by 50 per cent.

Instead the firm is set to reveal growth of 100 per cent, as turnover has doubled from £5.2m in 2010.

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Reflecting on the changes over the past five years, Tim Halstead, managing partner, said: “We are now a full service law firm, so we’ve filled gaps that we had in our practice where we didn’t have specialists.”

In that same period, the firm has created 65 new jobs, taking its total employee headcount to 155.

Mr Halstead said: “When I joined the firm in 1984 it was a one-man band, that did everything in a very generalist way. We are now specialists with experts, that reflects the legal market as well.”

Shulmans will also be adding three new partners, Rob Lucas, intellectual property, Dawn Carlisle, commercial property, and Mark Wilkinson, business recovery and insolvency on Wednesday, taking its partner headcount to 22.

Mr Halstead said: “One thing that is quite important to us, and maybe distinguishes us from others, is that our growth has been organic, by which I mean we haven’t merged with anybody.

“In the legal sector there’s been quite a focus on merger as being the way forward.

“We’re not looking for mergers, we like our own culture, we’ve grown our business steadily and strongly and we’ve done that through training our own people and some fairly strong lateral hires.”

However, Mr Halstead didn’t rule out future mergers outright. He said: “Never say never, but its not part of our plans, I don’t see us merging.”

Instead, Mr Halstead believes growth will come from offering better services to more clients. One target that the firm set itself five years ago was to be in a position to attract lawyers from bigger firms in the city and for that reason they moved into their current offices at Wellington Place.

But despite the success of Shulmans, Mr Halstead says he wouldn’t want to be starting afresh as a law firm in Leeds as the competition is more intense today.