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26 July, 2006 - 07:12 By Staff Reporter

22 per cent turnover hike for Mills & Reeve

Law firm Mills & Reeve has boosted its annual turnover by 22 per cent to £49.7 million – up from £40.7 million – with profits increasing by 24 per cent.

Turnover at the firm’s Norwich office is up by 24 per cent this year to £13.2m and turnover at the Cambridge office is up 7 per cent to £20.6m, making Mills & Reeve the largest practice in Cambridge.

The corporate group reports an almost 30 per cent increase in turnover, with the banking team winning major new clients including Nat-ional Australia Group Ltd and Lloyds TSB Group, ensuring it now works for all major banks.

The arrival of Eversheds’ Norwich corporate team heralded a flood of new instructions from many high profile companies including Jaeger, Archant Limited, Norwich City Football Club plc, alongside a flow of additional instructions from existing clients such as LHM (the OFEX-listed luxury hotel operator), Grampian Foods, Accord plc and AVEVA plc.

The group also advised R&D centre Bourn Hall Limited on its successful multi-million pound management buy-out from Serono and The CREATE East of England Fund in connection with a fundraising of up to £900,000 by a syndicate of investors in Cambridge based Camrivox Limited.

The real estate practice has grown by nearly 15 per cent, with key client wins including the Ministry of Defence, LDA, Jaeger and CITB. The real estate group is now one of, if not the, largest outside of London.

Recent deals include acting for Burford Delta Limited on the disposal of the Westbrook Centre – a complex £30m transaction led by partner, Nick Finlayson-Brown, assisted by senior solicitor Vincenzo Maggio.

The private client group has grown by almost 40 per cent, further strengthening their position as the largest private client practice outside London. This success follows major investment last year with the transfer of Wragge & Co’s 15-strong team to the Birmingham office and the launch of a nationwide family and matrimonial team following the arrival of Marc Saunderson and Andrew Breakwell.

The Birmingham team has achieved its three-year growth plan 18 months ahead of schedule, with the current value of their clients standing in excess of £5 billion.

Mills & Reeve’s market-leading healthcare practice has enjoyed over 18 per cent growth, following a number of high profile cases including continuing to act for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust on the Charlotte Wyatt case.

The team further strengthened their healthcare regulatory practice by recruiting senior General Medical Council lawyer Peter Steel earlier this year. Gill Thomas was also appointed as head of Health-care for the eastern region.

Mills & Reeve’s education practice reports a 15 per cent increase. In addition to acting for a large number of premier league universities, this year the team have taken on a large number of international briefs from clients, who are responding to a progressively global market.

Following impressive growth in 2004/5, the insurance group moved to larger London premises in January. They have continued to grow steadily, reporting close to 9 per cent increase this year.

In addition to impressive growth statistics, the staff bonus is at the highest level ever achieved by the firm, reaching nearly three quarter million pounds, and head count has increased to 685.

Mills & Reeve’s managing partner Mark Jeffries said: “The firm has made a number of strategic investments over the last couple of years in people, offices and systems and it has been very encouraging to see such solid returns coming through so quickly.

“It is particularly good to see such strong growth in our eastern region offices and the benefits which that has brought to the firm as a whole.

“We intend to continue building on those investments in 2006/2007 to extend the range of clients for whom we act across the country.”



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