A Manchester family law firm has expanded across the Pennines, saying it will continue to recruit senior lawyers from top tier rivals.

Hall Brown has announced it will open a Yorkshire base in Sheffield and has hired Irwin Mitchell partner Alison Fernandes to lead the office.

Having already opened a London office, senior partner Sam Hall said it was a ‘natural progression’ to meet the growing demand for work originating in Yorkshire.

‘It made perfect sense to us to open an office in yet another area which has generated an increasing amount of work,’ said Hall. ‘We’re looking to announce a series of further appointments in the near future. This is an exciting departure for us and we are extremely confident in our ability to deliver results.’

The firm, which has grown to 40 staff in the four years since it opened, will occupy offices at a new city centre location on Leopold Square. Fernandes, who was with Irwin Mitchell for 15 years, is the latest senior solicitor to join the practice, following the recruitment last autumn of Naomi Rainey, a former director with Vardags, and Mike Devlin, former head of family law at Stephensons. In the last financial year Hall Brown posted £3.54m in revenue, a yearly rise of £1m.

Hall said the expansion would not be held back by the lockdown and financial squeeze, saying the firm had been able to adapt while work has continued to come in. He added: ‘Although many people’s routines have been transformed, family life goes on and has arguably become more intense due to everyone having to spend more time at home.’