Metamorph Law, the alternative business structure looking to consolidate small law firms, has made a south-west conveyancing law firm its fourth and biggest acquisition of the year so far.
It has taken over BPL Solicitors, a firm with revenues in excess of £5m and staff of around 100, based in offices in Dorchester, Bristol and Bournemouth.
Formed in 2005 by David Bridge and Mark Stimson in an MBO from south-west firm Battens, BPL handles panel-focused residential conveyancing and remortgage work – working with the likes of iconvey and Purple Bricks – as well as more bespoke, high-end residential conveyancing, along with construction litigation and commercial property.
BPL has recently joined forces with five other law firms around the country – Martin Kaye, Cavendish Legal, Glanvilles, Gordon Brown and Shakespeare Martineau – to create Equishield, a brand offering legal advice on equity release.
Messrs Bridge and Stimson remain as directors of BPL Solicitors and the former will also take the newly created role of Metamorph’s national head of conveyancing.
Metamorph first came to prominence last year with its acquisition of north-west firm Linder Myers. It has been created as a vehicle to “acquire, transform and aggregate existing high street law firms focused on private client and SME work”.
The model sees Metamorph acquire the assets and merge the business of firms – but not the previous business structure itself – within its own corporate structure.
This year it has bought SLC Solicitors, a Shrewsbury law firm that acts for commercial and residential landlords and managing agents; the private client practice, including three offices, of Hampshire firm Bernard Chill & Axtell; and most recently a conveyancing team from the failed former QualitySolicitors firm Gregsons.
Metamorph now operates under three brands: Linder Myers for private client work, SLC for the volume ground rent and service charge property market and BPL for panel-related residential conveyancing.
Mr Bridge said: “The opportunity to join the Metamorph business gives BPL an excellent platform on which to continue to grow and develop its brand. It secures the continuing investment into our systems and people.”’
Metamorph founder and director of strategy Simon Goldhill said: “This deal gives us real presence in the residential conveyancing market, adding a recognised and respected brand to our stable.
“Getting David along with this business also enables us to consolidate all of our transactional property operations into a new national business division under his leadership.”
He added that this was unlikely to be Metamorph’s last deal of 2017. “We are working on a number of others and our appetite for exploring opportunities that enhance our business is undiminished.”