Corporate partner Chris Ross has taken over the role from Niall Innes who, after six years as head of the Manchester office, is moving to lead the firm’s national insurance team.
Chris, who is a well-known figure in the North West deals market, has been at Mills & Reeve for 8 years. He joined George Davies in 2006 and became part of the Mills & Reeve team following the merger between the two firms in 2013.
Now, as head of the Manchester office, Chris has ambitious plans to capitalise on Mills & Reeve’s renowned reputation for innovation, culture and sector strength to gain a larger slice of the regional market.
Earlier this year, Mills & Reeve relocated to its new offices at No.1 Circle Square, a move which Chris says is a perfect fit for the office’s growth strategy and will boost its strength in a number of its key sectors including technology, education and healthcare.
Chris says: “We have achieved excellent growth in the local market in areas such as technology, life sciences, sport, education and real estate development after winning a number of new clients and expanding our teams. As a result, we are acting on several high-profile projects including advising UK Research and Innovation on the creation of a £210m Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation in Cheshire.
“We have also profited from our mid-market strengths, for example the corporate team, which has recently recruited several lawyers, has been busy completing some high-profile deals in the region, nationally and internationally. Most recently we completed the sale of online retailer Outdoor Toys and the telecommunications business, GBC.”
Despite the challenging economic backdrop during the pandemic, the Manchester office has continued to grow. Fee income in the 20/21 financial year rose five percent, while income for the first quarter of the current financial year is up almost 10 percent on the previous year. Head count has increased 16 per cent. The office now has 121 employees, including 17 partners and 70 lawyers.
The Manchester office has continued to grow its client base and advises leaders in the public and private sectors including AIG, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the British Council, Bako and the Department of Health and Social Care. Meanwhile, the firm’s increasing focus on the mid-market has led to several client wins.
Chris says: “Niall has done an excellent job over the last six years. Fee income has risen more than 50 per cent, our client profile has grown significantly, and we have recruited several high-profile partners.
“The Manchester office is now in an excellent position to take advantage of our strong national brand and grow our share of the North West market. We are continually winning new clients and are looking to add senior level expertise across several teams including corporate, employment, real estate and private wealth.
“We have enjoyed profitable growth over the last few years despite the challenging times and our goal is to continue this momentum through further expansion in our key sectors, lateral hires and profiting from our reputation for innovation which has fuelled Mills & Reeve’s growth strategy.”