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New approach sees law firm expand and recruit

A young law firm has given notice of its ambitions with the appointment of three new partners.

Jesmond-based Square One Law says its entrepreneurial approach and willingness to abandon the old legal model is helping it to attract top talent from its larger rivals.

Ian Gilthorpe, Alan Fletcher and Robin Winskell set up Square One Law in June last year, since when the firm has expanded rapidly.

The new appointments include property partners Barney Frith, who joins from Watson Burton, and Simon Priestley, who is moving from Ward Hadaway.  They are joined by new client partner Stuart Hamilton who joined at Christmas and previously worked at Ward Hadaway and Crutes, where he headed up the private client department.

Barney Frith

Senior partner Gilthorpe said: “We are really pleased that Barney and Simon have decided to be part of this new business.  Simon joins us at the end of the month and Barney follows at the end of April, once they have served their respective notice periods.  Along with our new private client partner, Stuart Hamilton, they will shape and complement our business.  We are currently busy recruiting further partners and senior associates and are looking to create a leadership team of 8 partners and 6 or 7 senior associates by mid 2012.”

Gilthorpe said Square One had sought to transform the traditional law firm model by reducing overheads and making use of cloud computing systems.  It also makes extensive use of off-site consultants and business partners.

“The benefit to the client is that they get access to real market-leading expertise when it is needed as an integrated part of the Square One Law team for their project and we are able to deliver a cost-effective solution to our clients,” he said

“This model of working has only recently developed because of the advances in IT and computing systems.”

He added that both businesses and private clients enjoyed the fresh approach and added extras such as the ability to make use of lounge facilities at Square One’s headquarters in the Fleming Business Centre.

Hamilton said: “We know clients want to see a different approach to legal services.  I think that the flatter structure at Square One Law enables partners and experienced lawyers to spend more time and energy on client projects and client service.”

Stuart Hamilton, private client partner

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