Spencer West adds 19-strong team from shuttered Axiom Ince in private wealth push

Fee-sharing firm also acquires London boutique Hieron and adds team from Selig + Partners

Fee sharing firm Spencer West has added a 19-strong team from shuttered UK law firm Axiom Ince amid a wider private wealth push that has also seen the firm mark its first acquisition with the purchase of London boutique Hierons and secure a team from Selig + Partners.

Spencer West said that a total of 19 partners had joined the firm, which will open an office in Birmingham to house most of the arrivals from Axiom Ince and said it was planning to open a second London office in Mayfair to accommodate the teams from Selig and Hierons. 

The hires from Axiom Ince follow an ongoing crisis at the firm which began in August when the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) intervened in the practice of three of its then directors and culminated with news yesterday that the SRA had closed the firm. In the interim Axiom Ince had seen an exodus of lawyers for various firms including Kennedys, PRC, DAC Beachcroft and Horwich Farrelly, among others. 

Co-founders Simeon Spencer and Antoine West hailed the announcements as a signal to the market about the firm’s future plans and financial strength, adding that further news would follow before the end of the year.

Spencer commented: “Our first acquisition is proof that our business is in a position where it can move beyond just focusing on organic partner and team recruitment to more substantial transactions where the right firm becomes available, and Hierons certainly fits that bill.

“This is a significant number of high quality legal experts expanding the range and depth of services we can offer to our clients in the UK and internationally. It’s a huge step forward for us and one which takes us to another level. It also shows the attraction of fee-sharing models in the recruitment market, not just for individual partners or teams but also the possibility for acquisitions which fit our strategy.”

The recruits from Axiom include Birmingham-based partners Stephen Kong, Richard Kong and Peter Lin, who will be based at Spencer West’s new Birmingham hub in Colmore Row, with an additional 11 colleagues who will also move across. Further former Axiom Ince partners Sharokh Koussari, Vicky Tsan, Jaymin Ghelani and Vassos Vassou, all London-based, have also joined the Spencer West team.

Meantime, the acquisition of Hierons, which focuses on private wealth advice and corporate and commercial services for owner managed businesses, entrepreneurs and private individuals, will see founding partner Richard Hierons join Spencer West with five partners – Neil Addison, Roy Montague-Jones, Charles Dunn, Max Hudson and Richard Southall – as well as paralegal Sarah Ireland.

They will join forces with the seven-strong team from Selig + Partners, including founder and business and property law expert Justin Selig as well as partners Alison Green, Andrew Moss, Fiona Blakey, Natalie Gefen, Anthony Landes and Daliah Sklar.

West added: “We see real opportunity in both the markets in which we’ve recruited. While we’ve seen some other firms step back from the private wealth market in recent times, we think we have a range of services which can bring clients real benefits across their business and personal affairs and the addition of the two teams from Selig and Hierons will enable us to do much for those clients.

“Birmingham and the Midlands is a vibrant and exciting market for us and, with the teams joining us to launch our latest hub, we think it’s a region where our partners’ experience as their own business owners as well as lawyers can offer something different to more traditional models, which we think will be attractive to clients.”

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