Shakespeare Martineau moves into Bristol as it merges with GL Law

Richard hill at GL Law
Richard Hill, managing director at GL Law[4]

Bristol headquartered law firm GL Law is merging with national firm Shakespeare Martineau as part of an ambitious shared growth strategy.

GL Law will adopt the Shakespeare Martineau brand, which is part of legal and professional services group Ampa, adding more than £4.5 million to the group’s turnover and more than 60 people to its growing team.

With a recruitment strategy in place for the Southwest region of the newly merged firm, there are no redundancies planned as part of the merger.

GL Law’s Bristol hub will become Shakespeare Martineau’s 11th office hub location, adding to its current presence in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull, Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, London, Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Glasgow, and taking the firm into the Southwest of England for the first time.

GL Law’s London-based legal experts will join Shakespeare Martineau’s existing London hub.

GL Law has been acting for owner-managed businesses, SMEs, start-ups and some of the most discerning private clients across the Southwest and beyond for more than 300 years and looks to continue and extend this legacy under the Shakespeare Martineau brand.

Part of legal and professional services group Ampa, Shakespeare Martineau’s partnership with GL Law is in line with the wider group strategy of investing in and bolstering the brands within the group portfolio to truly unlock their potential.

It follows the recent additions into the group of Sussex firm Mayo Wynne Baxter and cyber security consultancy CSS Assure, both of which maintain their standalone brands within the ‘house of brands’.

Richard Hill, managing director at GL Law said: “Organic growth has been the driving force behind our business for many years. Our strategy to bring innovation to new service areas and empower our team to work collaboratively has resulted in great success for both our clients and the firm.

“By joining the exceptional team at Shakespeare Martineau, a firm that truly shares our values and ethos, we will be in a much stronger position to accelerate our ambitious growth plans.

“There is a lot of consolidation in the legal market right now, but no one is offering what Shakespeare Martineau does. Together, we’re bringing a completely new approach to professional services in the local market.

“This is an exciting next step in our journey as we continue to build our services across the Southwest, leveraging the national reach, expertise, and resource offered by Shakespeare Martineau, to grow our support for existing and future clients.”

GL Law has started its transition to the group and its equity directors will officially become members of Ampa later in 2022.

Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO of Shakespeare Martineau and Ampa, said: “Cultural fit is crucial in any new team or entity joining the group and we saw so many synergies with GL Law’s ways of working and our house of brands.

“Our house of brands strategy is a combination of introducing new standalone brands to the group or combining new teams or entities to our current brands, and in the case of GL Law, its existing legal offering and its market, it made sense for it to join Shakespeare Martineau and expand the national reach of this brand within our group.”

Ampa, which has pending B Corporation status, also includes uninsured loss recovery experts Corclaim, planning consultancy Marrons Planning and its consumer brand Lime Solicitors.

The group of brands has been named as one of the top 100 large companies to work for, as well as top 25 law firms, top 50 large London businesses and top 75 in the East and West Midlands in the Best Companies list 2022.

All Ampa brands are recruiting lateral hires and teams, and the group is proactively looking for like-minded businesses to join the group as either standalone brands or bolt-ons to its existing portfolio.