Alternative business structure (ABS) and consolidator Metamorph Law has completed its second deal by taking over niche practice SLC Solicitors.
SLC, based in Shrewsbury, is an award-winning 50-person firm that acts for commercial and residential landlords and managing agents.
Its founder and previous sole owner, Neil Shearing, becomes a consultant to Metamorph Law. It will trade as ‘SLC Solicitors, part of Metamorph Law’.
Metamorph – which came to prominence last year with its acquisition of north-west firm Linder Myers  – 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.
CEO Simon Goldhill said: “SLC is the recognised market leader in its niche market. It adds to the mix of services we offer, bringing further depth to Metamorph Law’s property litigation, commercial and residential property transaction departments, and complements our existing presence in Shrewsbury.
“SLC’s nationwide client base deepens our existing presence nationally into London and all major towns and cities.
“This will also give access for SLC’s existing client base, including their employees, to Metamorph Law’s private client and corporate legal service offerings.”
Mr Shearing added: “For many years, SLC’s services have adapted to our property focused clients’ requests to provide a greater depth of complimentary legal services. Through innovation and predicting market trends, and while not diluting our core services, SLC has generally been one-step ahead of others in bringing new service models nationally to the niche property, asset management and property management sectors.
“This merger greatly assists the SLC brand being able to offer increased services to the niche sectors our clients operate in, to the business owners and managers within it and to all their staff.”
In other ABS news, Keystone Law – the dispersed law firm with private equity investment – has entered Northern Ireland after merging with Belfast corporate and commercial law firm McMahon McKay.
Founding partners John McMahon and Danny McKay will continue to own and control the firm, now called Keystone Law NI, and operate the same model as other Keystone offices
Keystone Law now has 230 senior lawyers, and reported a 30% turnover increase for 2016-17 with the latest figures sitting at £26m.
It already has offices in the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Melbourne and Sydney.
Meanwhile, the “generous” employee ownership scheme run by Exeter-based ABS Stephens Scown was cited as one of the reasons it was the highest-ranking law firm in the Sunday Times 100 Best Employers list for 2017, coming in at number 16.
The newspaper recorded: “When it offered staff a 50% share of any additional profits above target for the year ending 30 April 2016, eligible individuals each received a £3,000 bonus, an increase of 131% compared to the previous year.”
Also in the list were Kingsley Napley (23), Mishcon de Reya (24), Royds Withy King (30), Freeths (50), Stewarts Law (58), Mills & Reeve (60), Baker McKenzie (66), Lewis Silkin (79) and Fletchers (85).