Law firm consolidator Metamorph Law has unveiled its first acquisition of 2018 with a deal to buy leading Shropshire general practice Terry Jones Solicitors, which has a turnover of around £5m.
Following four acquisitions last year, Metamorph said this latest addition meant it was looking to generate a fee income in excess of £23m in 2018.
Metamorph, an alternative business structure, only entered the market in May 2016 by buying north-west firm Linder Myers in a pre-pack deal.
Terry Jones Solicitors employs 70 lawyers among more than 100 staff, meaning that Metamorph now has over 430 employees, of whom more than 300 will be engaged in front-line delivery of legal services.
This is all before further deals planned for the rest of the year.
Terry Jones Solicitors was set up in 2000, after the eponymous Mr Jones – who had been a partner with local firm Gwynnes for 23 years – acquired its Shrewsbury office to set up his own firm. It now has three other offices in the county.
Metamorph already has a presence in Shrewsbury. It is set up to operate as a single business with multiple local and national brands, and Terry Jones Solicitors will be added to Linder Myers as a core private client brand.
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.
Last year it 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; a conveyancing team from the failed former QualitySolicitors firm Gregsons; and last October south-west property law firm BPL Solicitors, a firm of similar size to Terry Jones Solicitors.
In addition to the private client brands, SLC is the brand for the volume ground rent and service charge property market and BPL the brand for panel-related residential conveyancing.
Metamorph founder and director of strategy, Simon Goldhill, said: “The acquisition of Terry Jones Solicitors adds further depth and quality to our operations and brings some of the leading legal teams in the area into our business.
“It adds a fantastic and respected local brand to our stable and fits perfectly with our strategy to grow as a single business with multiple brands.
“This deal is just the start of our plans for 2018 and we have others in the pipeline. I expect to make further announcements over the next months.”