A Somerset firm that has been providing legal advice since 1895 has been saved after going into administration, the Gazette has learned. Broomhead & Saul, which has offices in the town centres of Taunton and Ilminster, has been sold to Solicitors Title, which has offices in Exeter, Yeovil and Totnes.
Broomhead & Saul specialises in property, family, probate, wills, power of attorney and commercial. Restructuring experts Sean Bucknall and Andrew Hosking, of business advisory Quantuma, were appointed administrators on 31 July and immediately completed a pre-pack sale to enable Broomhead & Saul to continue operating.
Bucknall said: 'Broomhead & Saul LLP is a well-regarded firm in the region, with a historic legacy. The business found itself in difficulties after a number of partners retired in quick succession and has faced challenges with the integration of a new operational system. We are delighted to have found a buyer for the firm - rescuing a longstanding local business and saving 34 jobs.'
Richard James, a partner at Solicitors Title, told the Gazette that aside from the legal aid practice, an area in which Solicitors Title is unable to operate, the firm was acquired on 31 July, including its two offices. James said it will be Broomhead & Saul's 125th birthday next year 'and therefore it would have been a shame to bring an end to a very long-established name across Somerset'.
Solicitors Title was established in 1998. Broomhead & Saul's name and brand will remain the same.
James said: 'From our side, Solicitors Title has forged its own path as a commercial law firm (with very little in the way of private client-related services), having enjoyed Legal 500 recognition in recent years. It therefore would not have made sense to "merge" the two brands together. Instead, it creates separate offerings under each appropriate brand. There are also opportunities to develop new services within Broomhead & Saul, and we are about to launch a new property possession claims service, as Broomhead & Saul, this week.'
Quantuma was advised on the sale by Alan Bennett, head of the restructuring and insolvency team at national firm Ashfords.
Bennett said: 'We are pleased to have advised on this transaction which has resulted in the preservation of a number of jobs. It illustrates the financial difficulties many law firms are currently facing.'