The new head of a Sheffield law firm has revealed office expansion plans after three years of growth.
Jonathan Oxley, managing partner at Lupton Fawcett, said they were taking more space in their building on Bank Street after staff numbers soared to a record 32, with four on the way.
The firm is also spending close to £1m on a new IT system to allow seamless communication with its offices in Leeds and York. And it was rolling out more flexible working practices to make it a better and more attractive place to work.
Mr Oxley won promotion after a hustings and vote at the firm. He is also a former regional chair of the Institute of Directors and is now regional ambassador.
He said turnover at the Sheffield office, in the Synergy Building on Bank Street, rose from £1.7m in 2015 to £2.8m this year.
He added: “Sheffield has been totally organic growth, it’s going to get to a critical mass, making a significant contribution. We are targeting £5m within the next three years.”
The Sheffield office specialises in commercial litigation, backed by a private client service.
Meanwhile the corporate team completed 26 deals with a total value of £136m during the 12 months to April 30 this year.
There are also plans to expand the ‘regulatory and corporate defence’ section into Sheffield.
At the same time a £1m, state-of-the-art process management system is set to make communications seamless and allow more working from home.
With his IoD hat on, Mr Oxley forecast big benefits for Sheffield from the Northern Powerhouse and devolution.
“It gets a lot of criticism, but I believe Sheffield will do very well out of it over the next decade. I think the powerhouse is not all going to be in Leeds but across the region. Tech should enable people to run their businesses from anywhere, you’ll see them popping up all over the place.
“The mistake people are making is they are waiting to be presented with a prefabricated powerhouse. But it’s the sum total of a lot of things, we are all building it day by day.”
Neil Large, of the corporate team, said it had been “another great year.”
He added: “Deal activity will remain strong in our opinion, the volume being mid-market SME acquisition, disposals and buyouts/ins, with the occasional stock market listing.
“Yorkshire’s booming healthcare, insurance, food and drink sectors will continue to be attractive to UK and overseas acquirers, home grown investors, and executives turned private investors looking for SMEs to scale up.”
Sheffield-born tax specialist Sarah Illidge is the firm’s newest recruit after moving back to the city as a senior solicitor.
She said: “I admire the way Lupton Fawcett has grown its regional presence by creating three well-respected offices in Sheffield, Leeds and York.
“The Sheffield office has developed a great team with specialisms across all legal disciplines. Not only is this benefiting clients in South Yorkshire, its reputation is such that it is also attracting clients from across the UK.”