West Midlands firm Talbots – a stalwart of the QualitySolicitors network – has announced that it is leaving the group in May.
The firm, which has seven offices across the Black Country and Worcestershire and over 190 staff, is one of the country’s top 10 conveyancers.
Mary Mocklow, chief executive of Talbots, told Legal Futures that being part of QualitySolicitors had helped the firm grow, but the alternative business structure “could now compete better as an independent law firm”.
Ms Mocklow, the 2014 winner of the leader of the year category at the QualitySolicitors awards, went on: “All our competitors are independent law firms. Business is good. We’re very proactive at getting new business and it’s the key to our growth.
“Our clients like to deal with a trusted high street practice. We’re not traditional, but we offer a very personal service to people in the communities where they live.”
Ms Mocklow said Talbots was particularly strong in conveyancing, private client and family work, and had only a “very small” personal injury presence.
She said the firm would be investing £1m in recruiting up to 15 new lawyers, IT upgrades and in moving to larger offices in Wolverhampton, its main base, Kidderminster and Stourbridge.
Ms Mocklow went on: “When we sat down to plan our strategy for the next 12 months, we made a conscious decision to commit even further to our vision of being the preferred legal services provider in the Black Country and Worcestershire.
“We believe our future is best served by deepening these local roots, rather than focusing some of our efforts towards being part of a national brand like QualitySolicitors. It was a tough decision to make as we’ve had some really good years with them.
“As a standalone business, we are free to innovate and launch exciting new products and services at a pace that suits us and, importantly, adds even more benefits to our clients.”
Talbots has grown rapidly, from two offices and a handful of staff in 1991, to a firm aiming for a turnover of £10m in 2016 after enjoying a 26% growth in revenue from conveyancing last year.
Eddie Ross, chief executive of QualitySolicitors commented: “We can confirm that West Midlands-based legal firm Talbots is to leave the QualitySolicitors network. We wish them well for the future.”