An award-winning Wilmslow-based personal injury law firm is targeting further expansion after agreeing new facilities with Yorkshire Bank, aided by due diligence conducted by Zebra Legal Consulting .
Hilary Meredith Solicitors, which has offices in Wilmslow and London, has secured a £3 million refinancing package with Yorkshire Bank which includes additional working capital to assist with the firm’s growth plans.
Established in 2003, the firm has built a strong reputation as a personal injury specialist attracting particular recognition for its high-profile work with the armed forces and claims resulting from Gulf War syndrome.
The deal was facilitated by Mark Preston, business development manager at Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Manchester.
The firm’s growth aspirations have already seen it open offices in 2012 in London’s Chancery Lane which have since doubled in size and now employ three partners as well as trainees and admin staff.
Chief executive officer Hilary Meredith said: “The legal sector has undergone a period of considerable change with the ban on referral fees, in particular, having a major impact on the personal injury market. However, we see that process as one which offers the firm new opportunities for further growth and we believe our new arrangements with Yorkshire Bank will be invaluable in supporting our objectives.
“We took the decision some months ago that the time was right to change funding partners if the firm was to develop as we would want.
“Of the four potential contenders it was clear to us that Yorkshire Bank was the obvious frontrunner. Their team’s approach to customer care and their willingness to really get involved in our business were instrumental in our decision.
“In addition, a key factor was the due diligence carried out by Zebra Legal Consulting, experts within the sector, which resulted in our firm being awarded an ‘A’ rating following an extremely thorough independent audit of all our activities.”
Sean Williams, head of Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Manchester, said: “Hilary Meredith Solicitors has earned itself an outstanding national reputation for quality and client care particularly for its sensitive handling of many high profile cases involving the armed forces.
“The continued success which the firm is enjoying reflects the commitment and determination of Hilary and her team and represents all that is good about the entrepreneurial spirit of the region’s businesses.
“As we begin to see signs of economic recovery, Yorkshire Bank remains focused on investing in the growth ambitions of the local business community.”
Zoe Holland, managing director of Zebra LC added: “The due diligence audit carried out by Zebra’s Major Project Team underlined the firm’s outstanding internal processes, the technical ability of its team and its core financial stability and profitability as a business.
“For a personal injury firm to secure funding in what is such a turbulent and changing marketplace underlines the Bank’s confidence in Hilary’s strong leadership. Zebra’s role highlights the importance of detailed and specialist due diligence when it comes to financing decisions in the legal sector.”