‘We have worked very hard since the outset to demonstrate that we are not simply a private client firm,’ says James Carter, managing partner of Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS). His comments come nine months after the union of Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham, creating a 530-lawyer practice that moves into the UK top 30 with revenues of £134.5m, slightly ahead of the legacy firms’ combined income for 2013/14.
When Carter says private client, he means old-fashioned trusts and estates work. The firm is looking to position itself as a leading private wealth player, covering the full range of commercial legal services for the privately wealthy, including litigation and corporate. Carter wants CRS to leverage its strong reputation in areas including employment, media, sport and fraud practices, alongside private client in all its guises, including a second-tier family practice. Speechly Bircham, alongside its recognised strength in both contentious trusts, personal tax and probate, had a well-regarded mid-market corporate practice.