Knights, the listed legal and professional services business, has agreed to acquire St James’ Square an independent law firm based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Founded in 2016, St James’ Square is a full service law firm serving the North East market. The acquisition adds 23 fee earners to Knights’ existing 1,400 professionals across the UK, and facilitates its entry into the Newcastle market, the financial centre of the North East of England. The acquisition complements Knights’ existing northern offices in and around Teesside, Manchester, Chester, Leeds and York and enhances its presence in the North East region, giving the Group a strong base to build a significant operation for expansion throughout the North of England.
“It not only provides us with an entry point into Newcastle specifically”, explains Lisa Shacklock, Knights’ Client Services Director, “but alongside our existing business in Teesside it gives us a platform from which to pursue further expansion throughout the North East through recruitment and further acquisition opportunities. This deal is a first step for us into Newcastle and we are focussed on recruiting high quality talent to enable us to build significant scale and expand across the region. With very significant external investment and financial firepower, together with our strong business model and unique one-team culture, Knights is an attractive alternative for law firm partners who wish to further their careers without the financial burden of the partnership model”.
St James’ Square is Knights’ 23rd acquisition, and its 21st since its IPO in 2018. In that time, Knights has grown revenues from £35m to £125m and become the UK’s largest commercial legal services business outside London. The addition of Newcastle takes Knights to 26 locations across the UK.
“We are delighted to be entering a new city as we cement our position as the leading legal and professional service business outside London. We welcome our new colleagues and look forward to working with them to strengthen our foothold throughout the North of England” said James Sheridan, Knights’ Group M&A Director.
Paul Monaghan, Managing Partner, St James’ Square commented:
“We are excited to be joining Knights, whose reputation and reach will allow us to enhance our client service offering and ability to recruit from Newcastle’s deep pool of talent. We already have strong relationships with the well-respected Knights team in Teesside and look forward to working together more closely to capitalise on the significant market opportunity in the North East of England.”