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South East: slowly out of the woods

Concentrating their efforts on a clearly identified target market, steering clear of risky high street work and definitely working on efficiencies: law firms in the South East are ready to grow with those green shoots. Jean-Yves Gilg reports

21 July 2009

“I usually deal with people who have been kicked, bitten or shot,” says Michael McNally, co-founder of Knights Solicitors in Tunbridge Wells. His quip is not a reference to some implausible crime in this affluent part of the Weald but to the specific client base of the four-partner firm.

Set up in 1994 Knights is a niche practice focusing on countryside and country sport clients and a substantial amount of its work includes dealing with riding, shooting and hunting accidents involving not only people but also animals.

The firm’s client base ranges from large landowners and estates to hunts, shoots, grouse moors and countryside organisations; and keeping a clear focus on this target market has helped keep the firm busy with only a marginal drop in revenue from last year.

The comparatively small conveyancing department, like everybody else, has been affected, but a sizeable amount of the firm’s property work...

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