MUCKLE LLP has been setting the pace in the buoyant legal services market for the past 12 months.
With its focused strategy of concentrating on its chosen specialisms – property, corporate/commercial, employment, public sector and wealth protection – it has continued to expand and has been the lead legal adviser on several of the region’s major deals.
These included the £25m flotation of Vertu Motors, and then its subsequent £40m takeover of Bristol Street Motors, creating, almost overnight, one of the UK’s largest motor dealerships here in the North-East.
By concentrating on its North- East heartland, as well as on its core specialisms, Muckle LLP has been able to provide service levels that are increasingly bringing it a national reputation.
The property team has been advising on deals stretching from Berwick to Cornwall. It has advised long-term client McAleer & Rushe on large mixed-use schemes at Charlotte Place, Southampton and Nottingham Station.
It has also acted for clients on a luxury apartment development in Cornwall, a social housing project in Poole and mixed use developments in Leeds and Bradford.
Throughout the year Muckle LLP has attracted a number of new partners from other firms including DLA Piper, Dickinson Dees, Ward Hadaway and Pinsents.
In the summer Muckle LLP recruited Alan Grisedale to head up their public sector practice area. He is widely experienced in advising on a range of issues surrounding PFI/PPP and on outsourcing and facilities management arrangements
He has also worked on a number of significant outsourcing deals for several large local authorities.
He is supported by another new partner, Lorna McShane, who has joined the firm from DLA Piper to head up the planning team. She has worked as a senior in-house lawyer for several local authorities and is an expert on planning and development issues.
Managing partner Steve McNicol said: “As a firm, we have prospered by building close, long-term relationships with our clients, growing with them and giving practical, commercially focused advice.
“The ability to build such relationships is hugely dependant on the quality of our people and their passion and enthusiasm for our clients and their businesses.
“We do not want to be constrained by traditional law firm thinking and nor do our people – that is our key differentiator.’’
To reflect that difference, this summer the firm launched its new brand image, adopting vibrant colours within its logo and it changed its name from Robert Muckle to Muckle LLP.
The brand was launched at BALTIC, Newcastle Gateshead’s Centre for Contemporary Art where Muckle LLP sponsored local artist Graham Dolphin’s Repeater exhibition.
The firm has long had links with the arts in the North-East and last year won the inaugural Arts and Business Partnership award with its client The Sage Gateshead.
And the firm is set to continue its development and expansion into next year, when it is moving into 42,000 sq ft of new offices in Time Central, Gallowgate.
“The rebrand, the office move and our expansion in numbers not only represent the results of our success – they form the springboard for an even more exciting future,’’ said Steve McNicol.