Weightmans LLP

The Scoop

Weightmans may be a regionally-based firm, but in its specialties it is a national player, especially in the North West outfit's insurance-related practices. And the firm's areas of expertise are becoming more numerous as it branches out in the commercial and public sectors.

Liverpool launch

Weightmans traces its history to 1827, when a firm called Rutherfords was founded in Liverpool. In 1988, Rutherfords merged with another long-established Liverpudlian firm that dated back to 1875. But the Weightmans line did not begin to spread offices beyond its Liverpool base until 1996, when the firm opened its outpost in Birmingham. Within the next decade, Weightmans merged with two more firms, William Hatton Solicitors and Vizard Oldham, giving it offices in Leicester, London and Manchester. The mergers and other growth brought the firm to the top 60 and gave it a national presence.

In 2011, Weightmans acquired the insurance practice of Vizards Wyeth, thereby adding an office in Darfford and more than two dozen lawyers, including 13 partners. The firm also acquired an office in Knutsford through its merger with Mace & Jones. The two mergers added more than 200 people to the firm's headcount and propelled the firm up to No. 41 in The Lawyer's list of the top UK law firms by turnover. Today, Weightmans has a network of seven offices, more than 100 partners and an enviable national reputation in its key practices. In 2012, the firm will move its flagship Liverpool office into new headquarters at The Plaza on Old Hall Street, in the heart of the city's commercial district.

Tripartite model

In recent years, the firm shifted from a structure built around lawyers' practice expertise to a model that focuses on three major markets served by the firm: insurance, public sector and commercial. The insurance sector has been Weightmans' mainstay, and the firm houses a nationally leading insurance team. The practice boasts panel appointments for major players, notably MIB and Zurich, and it handles a wide spectrum of insurance matters. Weightmans' large loss team swelled in 2007 when it took a partner and a trio of professional indemnity partners from Halliwells, giving it the biggest such practice in the region.

The firm has also developed specialties in other areas, particularly in litigation, health care and the public sector. Weightmans has a slot on the legal panel of Helena Partnerships, one of many social housing clients. The firm also advises the Crescent Purchasing Corporation, made up of hundreds of UK colleges, and the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

Recent News

More ice for Slush Puppie

Weightmans has acted for Slush Puppie, makers of popular ice crystal drinks worldwide, in a string of acquisitions, including Britvic's 'Tango Ice Blast' brand and Quench Dispensers Limited. In the latest purchase, in August 2011, Slush Puppie acquired Frutina Limited, the Southampton-based maker of fruit-based ice drinks and milkshakes.

Of ships and sealing wax

Thanks to the purchase by a French manufacturing group of Pexion Limited's distribution business, more jobs could be coming to Teesside. Pexion manufactures seals and packing for the aerospace, defence and marine markets. Weightmans advised Pexion in the sale of its distribution network, which operates under the subsidiary Beldam Burgmann Limited, to Flexitallic Limited, part of the Paris-based FDS Group, in August 2011.

Pack it up

In July 2011, the firm's corporate lawyers helped long-time client Sonoco UK Ltd acquire the assets of Robinson Paperboard Packaging Ltd in a deal that adds some $10 million in annual sales to Sonoco's business. Sonoco UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of packaging giant Sonoco, the largest producer of paperboard cans in the world.

Weightmans scores a hat trick in Wales

In the summer of 2011, Weightmans won places on three government panel frameworks in Wales. In July, the firm signed a four-year agreement to provide employment law and related advice to the Office of the Auditor General for Wales. Weightmans then won places on the South West Wales Consortium panels for Commercial Conveyancing, Employment Law and General Conveyancing. Lastly, the firm was named to several panels in the North Wales Collaborative Framework, which covers all six local authorities in North Wales-including Property, HR and Employment Law, Criminal and Civil Litigation, Adult Services and Mental Health and Corporate. The appointment is for period of four years.

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Weightmans LLP


India Buildings
Water Street
Liverpool L2 0GA
Phone: +44 (0)151 227 2601
www.weightmans.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing partner: Patrick Gaul
  • Total No. Attorneys 2011: 430

Major Office Locations

  • London, United Kingdom
  • Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom

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