A growing personal injury firm has bought the files of a neighbouring rival after it was declared insolvent.

Ashfields Solicitors, based in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, entered a company voluntary arrangement last year with debts of around £338,000.

Manchester firm Express Solicitors today announced it has acquired the existing work in progress of the firm, estimated to be around 450 personal injury files.

The deal has been carried out as a ‘pre-pack’ arrangement and involves the acquiring firm continue its rapid expansion of the last three years.

James Maxey (pictured), managing partner at Express, said: ‘Our team of specialist lawyers are looking forward to continuing the good work Ashfields Solicitors has started and providing a seamless and exceptional service for its clients as we take the cases through to fruition and realise the value in the WIP.’

According to a document filed with Companies House last August, Ashfields Solicitors owed money to eight named creditors, including £150,098 to HM Revenue & Customs and £125,800 to Legal Request Solutions Limited. It is likely they will be paid in full.

Ashfields, which began in 2006, employed 12 people – one has been retained by Express.

Express Solicitors said the acquisition – its second since a £4.1m refinancing package from RBS Corporate last year, also includes a database and all office equipment.

Maxey said the firm is now ‘actively looking’ to acquire other personal injury firms as going concerns, or their caseloads.

‘We can move quickly in these situations as we have the resources to carry out the necessary audit of files in-house,’ he said.

‘The firm covers every area of personal injury law and that coupled with our strong financial position means we can conclude deals within a matter of days.’

The firm has around 170 staff members, including 58 fee-earners.