Mills & Reeve Leeds office reveals growth ambitions as new leader takes charge

Mills & Reeve Leeds office reveals growth ambitions as new leader takes charge

The new head of the Leeds office of law firm Mills & Reeve is looking to build on its growth and boost its share of the Yorkshire legal market.

Corporate partner Paul Johnson is taking over the role from Philip Way, who, after 14 years as head of the Leeds office, is stepping down but continuing to lead the firm’s family team in the city.

Johnson (pictured), who is a well-known figure in the Yorkshire deals market, has been at Mills & Reeve for seven years. He started his career at Eversheds Sutherland and has more than two decades experience in the corporate sector in Leeds.

Now, in his new position, Johnson has ambitious plans to grow the office and enhance the Mills & Reeve brand in the Yorkshire market.

The office has seen strong growth recently through client wins, high-profile lateral hires and has strength and expertise in private wealth, real estate, litigation, corporate, IP/IT, commercial and employment. In recognition of this, last year, the office won the coveted Law Firm of the Year: Large award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards.

Throughout the pandemic Mills & Reeve has continued to support clients and expand its teams, demonstrated in the growth in fee income. In the 21/22 financial year to date, fee income is up 19% while headcount has increased 8%.

Johnson said: “The Leeds office has seen exceptional growth since opening back in 2008. We have launched several new practice areas and significantly expanded our presence in the key sectors of technology, food and agribusiness, health and care, education, real estate investment and private wealth after winning new clients and developing our teams.”

“We have also profited from our mid-market strengths which has led to several new client wins. The corporate 2team has been boosted by the arrival of partner Joanna Jowitt and principal associate Alex Kenworthy who relocated from the Cambridge office. The team has been very busy in recent months, and we have an excellent deal pipeline. Our commercial expertise has been boosted by the recent appointment of partner and IP specialist Alex Newman.”

He added: “Philip has done an excellent job over the last 14 years. Fee income has risen significantly, and we have recruited several high-profile partners and are continually winning new clients.”

“The Yorkshire legal market is fiercely competitive, and firms need to stand out from the crowd. My role as head of the office is to capitalise on the firm’s reputation for culture, innovation and sector expertise and further build the Mills & Reeve brand in Yorkshire with the help of our highly skilled and motivated team.

Way commented: “After 14 years at the helm I’m delighted to hand over the reins to Paul. It has been a great pleasure to lead the office through a period of tremendous growth and achievement. We are in an excellent position to expand further our presence in the regional market and Paul is ideally placed to take the office on its next stage of development.”

Image: Mills & Reeve
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Mark Dugdale

Mark is the Editor of Yorkshire Legal. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk