Temple Bright advises BPL on legal sector consolidation deal with Metamorph

Innovative law firm Temple Bright has advised the owners of South West property solicitors BPL on the sale of the practice to the rapidly expanding Metamorph Law group.

BPL, formed in 2005 by solicitors David Bridge and Mark Stimson, has a staff of around 100 based in offices in Bristol, Dorchester and Bournemouth.

The firm specialises in panel-focused residential conveyancing and remortgage work, while also providing bespoke, high-end residential conveyancing, commercial property and construction litigation services.

Metamorph Law, based in Sale, Greater Manchester, was created to acquire, transform and aggregate existing law firms focused on private client and SME work. Other firms it has bought include North West firm Linder Myers and Shropshire-based SLC Solicitors.

David Bridge said: “The opportunity to join the Metamorph business gives BPL an excellent platform on which to continue to grow and develop its brand. It secures the continuing investment into our systems and people that will allow us to continue to build on the excellence of service that we look to offer to our clients.”

Metamorph founder and director of strategy Simon Goldhill added: “We are delighted to have brought the BPL business and team of people into the Metamorph business. This deal gives us real presence in the residential conveyancing market, adding a recognised and respected brand to our stable.

“Getting David along with this business also enables us to consolidate all of our transactional property operations into a new national business division under his leadership. As a pioneer and innovator in the legal market we are delighted to have him join our senior team.”

The Temple Bright team on the deal was led by partners Andrew Mace and Ben Gisbey.

Andrew Mace said: “It was a pleasure to advise the owners of BPL on this deal, which offers excellent opportunities for the BPL practice and also for Metamorph as it continues to expand its offering to clients.

“It was also a fascinating transaction for us as lawyers, being an example of the consolidation taking place across many parts of the legal sector.”

Ben Gisbey added: “Among firms whose main focus is on personal or private client services, there is a growing appreciation of the advantages that come from joining a larger corporate brand. These may include increased investment and the potential for enhanced infrastructure, networks and opportunities for cross-selling.”

Temple Bright itself is a disruptive law firm, albeit active in a different market. The firm does only commercial work, usually acting opposite large traditional firms in the City and the regions. Temple Bright’s main innovation is a groundbreaking partner-only business model, a flat structure which departs from the traditional ‘pyramid’ model for solicitors’ firms – the latter involving a hierarchy with most work being delegated to associates and junior lawyers.

The Temple Bright team advising on the BPL deal comprised six partners – Andrew Mace, Ben Gisbey, Greig Thewlis, Carol Tricks, Paul Manson and Comron Rowe – working across a range of practice areas. It acted opposite a team from City firm Fieldfisher, which advised Metamorph.

This article appeared in the Bristol Business Newsletter on 27 November 2017.