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Two new partners join fast-growing law firm

Article by Iain Laing in the business section of The Journal on 26th March 2012

SQUARE One Law has made two new big signings, bringing total staff numbers to 26 – less than a year after its launch.

The three founders of the Jesmond firm – Ian Gilthorpe, Alan Fletcher and Robin Winskell – have already attracted five high-profile peer partners.

Its latest two signings are again from large North East law firms. Jeremy Swift is a corporate partner from the North East’s largest law firm Dickinson Dees and employment partner Jean-Pierre Van Zyl works at Short Richardson & Forth.

JP Van Zyl

It has already recruited property partners Barney Frith, from Watson Burton, and Simon Priestley, from Ward Hadaway. Private client partner Stuart Hamilton had previously worked at Ward Hadaway and Crutes.

Square One says its entrepreneurial approach and willingness to abandon the ‘old’ legal model makes it attractive to the region’s top talent.

Senior partner Ian Gilthorpe said: “Client support of our new firm has been fantastic and the firm has been busy since day one.

Jeremy Swift

“We are now close to securing the full complement of partners we had envisaged at the outset and are absolutely delighted by the quality of people we attract.

“As we continue to grow and develop, we envisage creating a firm of around 45 to 50 people which will allow us to operate as a tightly-knit, integrated and client-facing team.”

In recent weeks Square One has also recruited four new senior associates: Steven Dick, property and finance from Eversheds, Chris Gibson, company and commercial from Short Richardson & Forth, John Hammill, company and commercial from One North East, and Gillian Hulls, litigation from Northern Rock Asset Management.

The firm has also won some big contracts. Head of corporate Alan Fletcher advised on the £5m sale of Yorkshire-based software business AIM listed Atlantic Global to American technology firm KeyedIn Solutions.

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