Professional services group Knights, which has offices across the Midlands, has exchanged contracts to acquire two law firms.

The firm has agreed to acquire Leeds-based independent Shulmans for a total consideration of £20.1 million and Crawley and Maidstone-based commercial law firm ASB Law (which also encompasses ASB Aspire) for up to £8.5 million.

Knights Group Holdings is now one of the UK’s fastest-growing legal and professional services businesses. The acquisitions significantly increases Knights’ footprint by providing entry into the important South East market, in line with the Group’s strategy to accelerate its organic growth through carefully targeted acquisitions which are a strong cultural fit and strengthen existing offices, add new geographies or bring complementary business services.

ASB is a leading full-service law firm offering commercial, corporate finance, dispute resolution and employment advice from offices in Crawley and Maidstone, with 89 fee earners. It has an ambitious and innovative team, as evidenced by its strong client list and recent accolades, including recognition at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards Europe 2018, where it won the award for ‘New business and service delivery models’. Following completion of these acquisitions, the Group will have 900 fee earners across 15 office locations. 

David Beech, CEO of Knights, said“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of ASB today, marking our entry into the important South East market with this quality full-service commercial law firm which is recognised as Top 200 UK Law Firm by revenue.”

“With its ambitious teams and progressive approach to law, ASB has a strong cultural fit with Knights and provides an exciting platform for growth in the South East, in line with our strategy to build the leading legal and professional services business outside London.”

Andrew Clinton, Managing Partner of ASB said“We are delighted to join Knights, which we chose for its close cultural fit including its strong values and innovative and ambitious approach to challenging established norms within the legal sector. I’m very proud of how much we’ve achieved to date and believe that Knights’ scale and ability to invest in our team will enable us to realise our full potential and bring a broader range of services to our large corporate clients.”

Shulmans Managing Partner Tim Halstead said: “We have achieved significant growth in recent years to become a leading independent law firm in the North.”

“Having worked alongside Knights previously, we believe its collegiate approach, range of services and broad client base will provide an excellent match for us to continue to grow as part of the wider group.”