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Browne Jacobson launches new South West office

20 August 2012

Browne Jacobson has expanded its presence nationally with the opening of its first office in the South West.

The Exeter based office will be Browne Jacobsons second opening this year following the launch of its Manchester office in January.

Contracts have also been successfully exchanged and completed for the transfer of a 25- strong legal and support team from Veitch Pennys defendant insurance and employment practices.

The team will include head of insurance Mark Fowles and partner Jo Pruden.

Mark is widely regarded as one of the leading personal injury defendant lawyers in the South-West, described by Legal 500 as an acknowledged expert and leading thinker in public sector insurance litigation. His team is nationally renowned for the handling of claims at all levels, specialising in employers, public and local authority liability as well as occupational stress, education claims, and claims against social services, amongst others. Clients include the NHS Litigation Authority, Devon County Council, Travelers Insurance and Gallagher Bassett.

Rated by Chambers as Up and Coming insurance partner Joanne Pruden specialises in employers liability and public liability claims with a particular specialism in local authority claims. She also has particular expertise in highways claims, education and social services claims and claims for breach of confidentiality and data protection.

Browne Jacobson will acquire the existing lease from Exeter law firm Veitch Penny, occupying two of the four floors (4282 square feet) at 1 Manor Court whilst sub-letting the remaining two (3843 square feet) back to Veitch Penny.

The opening of the Exeter office follows a hugely successful year for Browne Jacobson in which turnover rose by 17 to a record £41.3m. The year on year increase was the highest recorded by the firm for over a decade.

Iain Blatherwick, Managing Partner at Browne Jacobson, said:

"Our Exeter office will give us a strong foothold in the South West and with our existing four office network allows us to offer truly national coverage for our clients.

"As well as focusing on our personal injury defendant practice our South West strategy focus over the next few years will be centred on generating growth within the health, education and public sector."

Nick Parsons, Head of Insurance and Public Risk at Browne Jacobson, commented:

"We are delighted with the quality of the team joining us from Veitch Penny. Their national reputation, culture and strength in our key sectors give us an excellent platform from which to further strengthen our market position."

Partner Mark Fowles added:

"The opportunity to be a part of Browne Jacobson is really exciting. The close synergies across many specialist areas along with a shared client-centeredfocus and culture of excellence make for a good fit. The new office provides the firm with a strong foundation to achieve its vision of being a leading law firm in the South West. The move will undoubtedly serve to further strengthen the offering to clients and we are looking forward to contributing and sharing in its on-going success."

The opening of the Exeter office will bring the total number of employees at Browne Jacobson to 648, including81 partners and 256 other lawyers.

Roger Davis of Geo Hallam & Sons from Nottingham acted on behalf of retained clients Browne Jacobson in acquiring 1 Manor Court Dixs Field in the heart of the professional quarter of Exeter and negotiating the terms of the lease back to Veitch Penny.

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