A fast-growing Welsh legal group has merged with a Herefordshire-based solicitors firm, creating a combined business with 12 offices and more than 185 staff.
Redkite Solicitors, one of the largest legal firms in Wales and the south-west, has joined forces with Ledbury-based Orme & Slade.
All 28 employees will remain with the firm, based in Ledbury's former Natwest Bank Chambers, and which will be rebranded as Redkite Solicitors Incorporating Orme & Slade.
Redkite, which previously had 157 employees and 11 offices, is pursuing an ambitious growth strategy following a period of expansion. The firm, which is headquartered in Carmarthen, has doubled its turnover to £9 million since 2017.
Redkite’s recent growth has helped create new jobs at the firm’s Spilman Street base in Carmarthen, which provides back-office and finance services.
As part of the deal, the firm has taken over the entire Natwest Bank building in the centre of Ledbury, which has been extensively refurbished.
The merger will allow the firm to offer a broader range of specialist legal services to local businesses, including litigation, contentious probate and employment law. It also brings extra investment in IT systems, designed to enable the Ledbury office to provide improved client service.
The deal comes after Redkite merged with Cardiff and Brecon-based firm Charles Crookes and Swansea-based Harris Arnold, in 2017 and April 2019 respectively.
Another merger with Gloucestershire-based Phoenix Legal Group in late 2017 means the firm now has offices in Brecon, Cardiff, Dursley, Haverfordwest, Pembroke, Stonehouse, Stroud, Swansea, Tenby and Whitland.
Neil Walker, chief executive of Redkite, said:
"Redkite Solicitors has been helping individuals, families and businesses across England and Wales resolve their legal issues for over one hundred years. We have built our heritage on serving market towns and rural businesses and have developed our services to meet their particular needs.
"As a law firm rooted in the local communities it serves, Orme & Slade is the perfect fit for us as we expand our footprint in the border counties.
"The expert teams based in the Ledbury office will continue to provide the same quality service to loyal clients, while also offering a more extensive range of legal services. We are delighted with the merger and the possibilities it brings.
"We are also pleased that this expansion has resulted in more employment opportunities in Carmarthen, demonstrating our continued commitment to investing in our operations in Wales."
Julie Sutherland, previously a Director at Orme & Slade, is now Lead Partner for the Ledbury office at Redkite. Commenting on the merger, she said:
"This is an exciting development for both Orme & Slade and Redkite Solicitors. By working together, we will be able to offer our clients an even broader range of specialist legal services as well as improved meeting facilities in the heart of the town.
"We are delighted that our director and previous majority shareholder David Rushton will remain working with us here in our Ledbury offices.
"We are also incredibly excited about joining forces with such a robust legal business and brand.
"We have always been driven by understanding and serving our clients' needs, and we look forward to providing a more holistic service as a result of this merger."
Pictured above are, left to right: Neil Walker, Chief Executive of Redkite Solicitors; Lucy Yeomans, Partner; Julie Sutherland, Partner, and David Rushton, Consultant Solicitor.