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Buyers’ consortium paves way for personal injury purchase

Express Solicitors buys Lavin Copitch [1]

Doing the deal: Daniel Slade and James Maxey (at the back) with Robin Pavey (front right) from Express Solicitors and Tom Lavin from Lavin Copitch

A consortium of personal injury practices formed to encourage law firm acquisitions has helped Manchester-based Express Solicitors do its first deal.

Express is part of the Pi Gateway consortium, together with Bott & Co, Hilary Meredith and Ralli Solicitors, launched last autumn [2].

The firm said the acquisition of Lavin Copitch Solicitors was “made possible due to a £4.1m refinancing package from RBS Corporate” following the firm’s conversion to ABS status early last month.

James Maxey, managing partner of Express, said:  “We were introduced to Lavin Copitch Solicitors through Pi Gateway and were able to make our first acquisition, which is part of our ambitious growth strategy.”

Express said the cost of acquiring the two-partner firm, based in Altrincham and Gorton, was £250,000. The purchase included several hundred personal injury files.

Mr Maxey went on:  “While there are many firms wishing to exit the market there are also plenty of acquiring firms, like Express Solicitors, who want to strengthen their balance sheet and grow turnover.

“Pi Gateway has the flexibility to co-opt other members to join the group for larger transactions.  The consortium is open to no obligation talks at any time to firms looking to exit the market and make a clean break at a fair price.”

Pi Gateway is said to have completed a number of other transactions.

Established in 2000, Express Solicitors has 148 employees, including 13 partners and 47 fee earners.