Bond Dickinson in strong position to deliver growth, managing partner says

Jonathan Blair said Real Estate posed a significant opportunity for growth at the newly merged firm

Jonathan Blair, managing partner of Bond Dickinson
Jonathan Blair, managing partner of Bond Dickinson

Heavyweight law firm Bond Dickinson is set for growth after a period of “integration” of its two constituent companies.

Formed by the the high profile merger of Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees, managing partner Jonathan Blair told The Journal the re-branded firm had successfully moved beyond a period of integration - and was on track to deliver growth.

Speaking half way through Bond Dickinson’s current financial year, Mr Blair said he was confident in the volume and quality of work the firm was undertaking for its roster of regional and national clients - and said future acquisitions could not be ruled out.

He said: “The first 18 months since the merger have been characterised by what I’d call ‘getting the business integrated’.

“We’re now in a position where we’ve dealt with those integration aspects and we’re on track to build even further on last year’s growth.”

In February legacy firm Dickinson Dees, at which Mr Blair was also managing partner, filed accounts which showed a 3% raise in turnover to £47m in its final year before the merger with Bristol-based Bond Pearce.

Mr Blair said he now expected the rebranded national operator to surpass that rate of growth, but warned that volatility in the European and international economy could not be ignored.

He added: “We continue to win a lot of very good quality work, both here in the North East and across our other locations. There is a great deal of activity among our clients and it’s nice for Bond Dickinson to play a part in the growth of many prominent regionally-based business.

“Our firm is fortunate to have some of the best specialist lawyers in the country. For instance, our Transport division is particularly strong and that is reflected in the calibre of clients, including work for the likes of Go Ahead and Keolis.

“No law firm can afford to be complacent at the moment but we’re certainly in a strong position.”

Speaking about the legal sector landscape, Mr Blair said he expected the consolidation activity of recent years to continue for some time as clients directed a market in which revenues had shrank.

A key growth opportunity for the firm is in Real Estate, the restructuring and insolvency specialist said. A skills shortage has emerged in the specialism as many lawyers have been reluctant to qualify in Real Estate due to perceived instability.

On the wider issue of growth, Mr Blair added: “Newcastle and London are now quite mature markets for us, and we’ve strengthened ourselves there. We’ll continue to grow across the North East as there is significant opportunity for us.”

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