Shakespeare Martineau is establishing a new presence in Lincolnshire as part of the firm’s growth strategy, with two newly appointed partners providing a face for the brand locally.
Jonathan Stork joins on 1 February from Wilkin Chapman and has more than 13 years’ experience in litigation and dispute resolution, with particular expertise in contested trust and probate work, disputes within the agricultural sector and commercial litigation.
Corporate and commercial lawyer Michael Squirrell has already joined the firm and brings with him extensive knowledge of the Lincoln market and 12 years’ experience. Michael has particular passions for digital and tech, intellectual property and trade marks and advising charities.
Michael said: “What Shakespeare Martineau offers clients is the best of both worlds: establishing a Lincoln presence combines local knowledge with the backing of more than 850 experts nationally. This scale and full-service approach means we can help take local businesses to the next level and are almost unlimited in the legal support we can offer; as well as supporting people through key life milestones.
“I was initially attracted to Shakespeare Martineau’s reputation for excellence. And after meeting people across the teams, it was clear to me that it is a firm that really focusses on people and clients, living and breathing its values – rather than these being an aspirational list or a ‘tick box’ exercise.
“I've spent my working life being inspired by entrepreneurs and innovators and feel like I can put that knowledge into practice with the Lincoln branch opening, and drive growth for Shakespeare Martineau in Lincoln.”
With existing offices in Nottingham, Leicester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull, London, Milton Keynes and Glasgow – servicing both local and national clients – the firm is planning a brick and mortar presence in the area to serve its Lincolnshire clients.
The appointments follow the announcement of growth ambitions and plan to double in size by 2023. The appointments are just the start for the firm as it is committed to growing the team in Lincoln and strengthening its presence in the area. With a view to providing a holistic service to Lincoln-based clients, Shakespeare Martineau will also be welcoming a new Lincoln-based partner in the employment team soon.
Duncan James, East Midlands’ regional head, said: “We work with several clients in Lincoln already, including those in the education, tech, energy and agriculture sectors – so it's a no brainer to have an on-the-ground presence.
“Lincolnshire holds a lot of potential, and our clients will benefit from a local presence as well as the backing of our wider teams in energy, education, agriculture, fast-growing businesses and wealth management, to name just a few.
“We’re really excited to have Jonathan and Michael joining us, and we look forward to growing the Lincoln team further.”
Getting to know Michael Squirrell…
Why do you think the Lincolnshire market, in particular, provides such an array of opportunities?
While steeped in tradition and home to household names and brands, there are also many hugely successful newer businesses making names for themselves nationally – whether in established markets such as farming, manufacturing, retail and food, or in more developing and nascent tech, digital and e-commerce markets.
There are some truly inspiring entrepreneurs, business owners and professional service firms in the county who are a pleasure to work with.
What attracted you to Shakespeare Martineau?
I'm really excited that the firm shares the same vision for Lincoln - a forward-thinking, inclusive, people-focused office which strives for excellence and unparalleled client service and a place where people want to come and work.
What are the top three highlights of your career so far?
- Working with a highly respected European law firm as English counsel on the UK aspects of a reorganisation of a multinational automotive manufacturing company.
- Completing the sale of a distressed e-commerce business in a very tight timescale, where the failure to meet the deadline would have been extremely serious for the majority shareholder, on both a business and personal level.
- And of course, joining such a prestigious firm as Shakespeare Martineau! Especially having the opportunity to open a new office in a city in which I love living and working.
What has it been like joining a new firm during the pandemic?
As a solicitor, I’m in the fortunate position that homeworking is a very valid option – I’m able to support clients and liaise with other professional service firms and colleagues by video or phone without disruption.
I’ve been made to feel very welcome at the firm and included as part of the team from the outset – video technology has probably allowed me to ‘meet’ more colleagues from multiple locations already than I would ever have managed outside of a lockdown! That said, nothing compares to seeing people in person, so when it is safe to do so I’m looking forward to travelling to our other offices to meet new colleagues face to face.