National law firm Browne Jacobson has announced the opening of its first office in Wales. The firm has taken out a three-year lease at 36 Park Place, situated in the traditional legal heart of Cardiff.
The firm explained that the move demonstrates its ‘real commitment to the Welsh market’ after delivering legal advice to clients in Wales for over 25 years. The office is conveniently located close to the firm’s longstanding clients, Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales, whilst it is also next to Cardiff University and within the Civic Centre, home to a number of the City’s culturally iconic buildings such as City Hall and the National Museum of Wales.
Tim Edds, Head of the Cardiff office, and Laura Hughes, the firm’s Executive Lead for Wales are the co-founding Partners of the office and will be joined on day one by a team of five other lawyers (comprising of a senior associate, three associates and a trainee solicitor) who will work across Browne Jacobson’s government and corporate sectors, and specialise in public law, regeneration, risk and inquiries, planning, environment and construction. There will also be a risk and compliance professional and another two senior associates who have been appointed to join later in the Summer, taking the headcount up to 10.
Browne Jacobson Managing Partner, Richard Medd commented:
“Having advised a host of valued Welsh clients over many years and following the launch of our Dublin office, expanding our footprint into Cardiff was a logical and exciting next step for the firm, especially given our strong pipeline of new and continuing instructions for the Welsh Government and many other clients.”
The firm has built up a strong portfolio of Welsh based clients over the last 25 years including Natural Resources Wales, Local Government Association Wales, Sodexo, Qualifications Wales, the Independent Monitoring Authority for Citizens Rights, and various other Welsh Local Authorities and Local Health Boards. It is also one of the main legal advisors to Welsh Government, having given strategic advice on several high-profile matters in recent years, including the devolution settlement, the Covid-19 pandemic inquiry, post-Grenfell Building Safety, and the development of the £35m Morlais tidal stream renewable energy project located off the coast of Anglesey.
“The new office allows us to grow a full service offering across both the public and private sectors by further enhancing our tech and energy credentials in the Welsh market and building on the specialist legal expertise we have showcased on some major, innovative Welsh clean energy infrastructure projects. Wales is leading the way in the development of tidal power and is committed to expanding the provision of clean power, which chimes with our own firm commitments around ESG and supporting climate change. Having a base in Cardiff will enable us to be part of that movement and strengthen our offering.”
He said that the firm will continue to develop its presence in Wales thanks to ‘excellent long term economic growth prospects’ and a high-quality, local talent pool.
In a joint statement Browne Jacobson co-founding partners of the firm’s Cardiff office, Tim Edds and Laura Hughes (pictured) said:
“For over two decades, our firm have advised on many high-profile projects that deal with issues that are at the forefront of Welsh society. In more recent years, we have attracted a growing number of legal experts to join Browne Jacobson who have a deep understanding of the technical differences between the ever-changing UK and Welsh legal landscape and the impact that has for our clients. It became evident that there was a both a client need, and a real advantage in us building a dedicated team of lawyers on the ground in Wales.
“We intend to be a firm fully embedded in the Cardiff and wider Welsh market and are looking forward to connecting in person with our clients and contacts from our new office base. Our ability to service both the public and private sector in Wales, means we can be even more aligned to the public and social changes that Wales is facing, ensuring our clients in Wales are receiving the very best advice and allowing us to support them in tackling society’s biggest issues.”
They added that an office in Cardiff will enable the firm to build on its public sector work in Wales, and presents ‘an important strategic opportunity to grow our corporate client base in Wales’.
The firm has a strong diversity and inclusion programme, with a number 1 ranking by the Social Mobility Foundation across all UK businesses for social mobility. Time and Laura added that Browne Jacobson is ‘already working with a number of organisations in and around Cardiff focusing on these values and we’re thrilled that the new office will give us more scope to do more in this space as it’s a topic we are personally very passionate about.
Browne Jacobson now has seven offices located in major cities across the UK and Ireland, including Birmingham, Cardiff, Dublin, Exeter, London, Manchester and Nottingham.