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Stretching from Lincolnshire to Northamptonshire, the highly competitive East Midlands legal market comprises large cities such as Nottingham and Leicester, and smaller business centres such as Derby, Lincoln, and Northampton. Firms within the region comprise both local and national players servicing a varied client base, from local SMEs to global corporates.

Among the key players in the market, Nottingham-based Browne Jacobson LLP remains one of the strongest, and has been building on its strength advising public sector clients in matters related to the education and healthcare industry. Other firms with strong regional reputations include Freeths, which continues to leverage the firm’s expertise in contentious matters to attract a steady work flow in the commercial litigation and insolvency areas across its offices in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham. As the only firm in the region with a strong international presence, Eversheds LLP is a go-to firm for cross-border deals and for commercial litigation and insolvency.

Other national firms with prominent profiles in the region include Shoosmiths LLP, which is servicing a growing number of real estate, corporate and commercial, and retail clients from its offices in Northampton and Nottingham; Gateley Plc, which strengthened its planning sector capability with the arrival of Robert Waite from Freeths. Howes Percival LLP has continued to expand nationally, opening new offices in Cambridge and Milton Keynes.

2016 has been a year of consolidation: Geldards LLP’s merger with Robinsons Solicitors in November 2014 has strengthened its presence in the region, where it has a particular focus acting for public and not-for-profit clients, while the newly merged Shakespeare Martineau LLP has expanded its capabilities in the education sector. Leicester-based Spearing Waite LLP recently opened its new office in the city centre; it continues to attract praise for its commercial property expertise.

Other notable firms include Derby-based Flint Bishop LLP, which is noted for its expertise in contentious mandates; Nelsons Solicitors Limited, which has offices in Nottingham, Leicester and Derby and acts for a strong SME client base; and Wilkin Chapman LLP, which has a particular focus on matters with an agricultural and military focus.

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