During the year the firm announced the fifth in a series of mergers together with a number of partner-level appointments and internal promotions, in addition to reporting record financial results.
Richard Pollins, Managing Partner at DMH Stallard, said, “It has been another exceptional year. It’s been hard work, but we work well together as a team, and all take pride in the continued growth of the firm.
One of our key strategic goals is to fill the firm with amazing people. We will continue to work hard to attract the best lawyers and support staff in London and the regions, and pursue good quality merger opportunities when they arise. We are the natural choice for high quality ambitious lawyers in the region.
Continuing to build the quality of our team enables us to focus on delivering an exceptional service and experience to our clients.”
2022 started positively for the firm with the announcement of the merger with Griffith Smith. It followed mergers with Brookman in May 2021, Rawlison Butler in 2017 and both AWB Partnership and Ross & Craig Solicitors in 2015.
Griffith Smith brought a reputation as a modern legal practice with an established heritage and strong roots in Sussex; a great match for DMH Stallard and the regional strength across Sussex and Surrey that the firm is known for.
The recent merger principally strengthened services to private clients in the areas of inheritance tax planning, wills, trusts, power of attorney, estate administration, family, contentious probate, and real estate.
Richard said, “Griffith Smith was well-established and a highly regarded firm in the Sussex market and the merger strengthened the services we provide to private individuals, families, businesses and entrepreneurs.
Our combined offering to high net-worth clients is unparalleled in Sussex and reinforced our position as the go-to firm for clients seeking quality advice. The merger also increased choice for our clients who can meet with us virtually or at one of our wide network of office locations throughout Sussex, Surrey, and London.
It was also another important milestone in our broader expansion plans.”
In addition to welcoming the highest quality partners through the New Year merger, there have been senior appointments throughout 2022, and multiple internal promotions.
The firm announced the hire of Matthew Akers in the London litigation practice in February. Matthew was formerly at Weil, Gotshal & Manges where he acted for major corporations and financial institutions in a wide range of international commercial disputes.
Another partner hire in dispute resolution quickly followed with Nicola Billen joining the team in Guildford from Knights. Nicola has specialised in dispute resolution since 2004 and has particular expertise in IT disputes. She said: “When the opportunity at DMH Stallard came up, I grabbed it with both hands, the firm is blazing a trail in the south east that was impossible for me to resist.”
Reflecting the dynamic growth in dispute resolution, the team’s third partner hire arrived in May from Shakespeare Martineau with the appointment of Frank Bouette. In November we saw another new Partner arrival with Michael Lynch. Formerly a Senior Legal Counsel at NatWest, Michael Lynch is an insolvency litigation specialist, acting for parties subject
to complex and high-value disputes, often involving multiple international jurisdictions.
Known for a tough and no-nonsense approach, he brings vast commercial insight into financial distress and insolvency positions from a lender perspective, providing a multi-faceted understanding of business failure and recovery strategies.
DMH Stallard’s renowned real estate operation was also boosted in 2022 with the first of two partner hires in the summer with Jo Rovery joining from Knights, and Lucy Rudd following from Judge & Priestly.
Internally, the firm was also busy recognising the massive contribution of colleagues when the largest single round of promotions in the firm’s history was confirmed in August. Helen Mead, Mark Rennie and Emily Wood became full equity Partners, and Kerry Young and Sara McGrigor were promoted to the partnership.
Additionally, Jay Barnett, Cathryn Culverhouse, Jade Paine, Kay Miles, Michelle Broscombe and Chris Gleeson became senior associates, while Tyne Harman, Marissa Allen, Mo Ahmed, Sara Whittle, Katie Moscatelli and Alex Dawson were promoted to associates.
Also in August, the firm reported a record 9% rise in revenues to £33.5 million, whilst continuing to maintain zero operational borrowing. Since 2020, the firm has seen a 55% surge in profits. Richard said, “We take great pride in our financial performance and were delighted to see another strong set of financial results which was achieved through long term strategic planning, an immense amount of hard work and by consistently providing a first-class service to clients that has become synonymous with our firm.”
There was also external recognition for the firm itself at the prestigious Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. DMH Stallard was named Professional Services Firm of the Year for the consistent delivery of outstanding service to clients, making staff welfare a number one priority, constantly pursuing innovation across the business, and demonstrating market leading legal knowledge and expertise.
The firm’s innovative client listening programme, which ensures rapid adaptation to the changing needs of clients, came in for particular praise by the judging panel. The firm also received accolades from Legal 500 with eight departments receiving a top tier ranking with 45 recommended lawyers. In Chambers, which is recognised as the leading authority for ranking the most outstanding law firms and lawyers throughout the world, seven of our teams received a ‘Band One’ position, and 28 of our lawyers were individually ranked.
Summing up, Richard said, “I am immensely proud and grateful to my colleagues across the firm who have made all these achievements in 2022 possible. The last couple of years presented challenges that no one saw coming and yet our staff responded magnificently throughout.
It is of course a lot easier to say ‘business as usual’ than it is to deliver ‘business as usual’ during a pandemic, but we did it, and I know from speaking to our clients that they fully appreciated the efforts we made in supporting them personally and their businesses. The key now for us is to build on this further and we are well placed to do that”