Business consultancy Assure Law has acquired a majority stake in HighStreetLawyer.com, the network of small firms, and plans to expand it substantially.
The plan is to grow to 200 member firms, who will receive strategy, marketing, HR, compliance, business planning and back-office support – something akin to LawNet but for smaller practices.
We revealed in September that Assure Law had bought shopping centre marketing operation Lawyers2you, and director Brian Corcoran told Legal Futures yesterday that there was potential for crossover between the two brands.
Assure Law chairman Tony Stockdale added: “We have noticed a growing need for small law firms to receive appropriate support from their regulators, their advisers and from each other.
“Small law firms are the backbone of the legal profession and we look forward to building a strong network with HighStreetLawyer.”
He said that since its launch in 2013, the consultancy had “acquired and established various businesses in the legal sector” and “is currently helping many law firms to tackle the thorny practice issues which are preventing them from achieving their potential”.
It emerged at the end of last year that HighStreetLawyer, which was first piloted in 2011 and targeted firms of less than five partners, had switched from being aconsumer-facing brand to focus on its business support function and build an online network to foster collaboration and referrals.
Founder Gary Yantin told Legal Futures that Assure Law provided “the resources to grow the business the way we want to… they have the right skills and experience to transform HSL into the network that helps the best small law firms to be even better”. Though the focus for now is on providing support services, the solicitor said he still believed that HighStreetLawyer could become a consumer brand in time.
Assure Law continues to grow. It first hit the headlines by helping to turn around ailing Manchester firm Linder Myers earlier this year, in a deal which saw the firm refinance its debts and appoint Mr Stockdale as chief executive.
Last month it launched Assure Law LEGAL, a business process outsourcing service for law firms. It was set up to provide outsourced accounting and cashiering services supported by a comprehensive integrated case and practice management system powered by the Osprey Legal Cloud.