Temple Bright grows professionals practice as ‘adviser to the advisers’

Bristol and London law firm Temple Bright has continued to grow its South West construction practice through a raft of new appointments by architects, interior designers and planning consultants in Bristol.

The moves reflect a wider and developing focus of the firm as an adviser to other professional firms.

ECE Westworks, the South West arm of architecture and planning consultants ECE based in Colston Tower, appointed Temple Bright last autumn and has since used the firm on a broad range of matters, including preparing terms of business for Westworks and advising on documentation received from developer clients on projects.

The latter include four developments in Bristol with a large commercial developer and a substantial student accommodation scheme.

Interior design practice Studio Cwtch, based in Montpelier, has also appointed Temple Bright on a number of its client projects since last summer.

Planning consultancy Planning Ventures, a young Bristol firm established by working mothers who are innovating with flexible working practices, has recently appointed Temple Bright’s construction team to prepare its terms of business and advise on specific development documents for a number of projects in central Bristol.

Temple Bright construction partner Julia Davenport-Cooper said: “We are delighted to be acting for these dynamic professional firms, who are making waves in the construction space and getting involved in some really exciting projects.

“It is always a pleasure working alongside kindred spirits in other fields, but still more so when they become our clients, meaning we can directly add value to their business.

“Temple Bright is developing a promising niche as ‘adviser to the advisers’. Our strength here derives from our streamlined tech-driven business model with the promise of experienced lawyers and no delegation. We can offer a service which combines extensive experience with pragmatism and speed of response – just what construction professionals want.”

Temple Bright also acts for a growing number of professional firms in other sectors. Co-founder Tim Summers said: “We are flourishing in construction, as Julia’s recent appointments show, and also in financial services and other professions. In fact, we are especially popular as a sub-contractor to other solicitors’ firms, including some high-profile names in the South West and London.

“This can arise for different reasons. It may be our ability to offer a senior lawyer on a flexible basis, as cover during an extended absence for instance, but these days it is occurring more and more because of the sheer breadth of our practice.

“We now cover 16 commercial areas including several which are niche, ‘big firm’ type specialties. Smaller firms generally want to give their clients a seamless service, but they may not handle areas such as construction, banking, planning, tax, competition or insolvency, that often come up on deals and disputes.

“So instead of sending clients to a big firm that does everything, and risk losing such clients, they can appoint Temple Bright and in effect add one of our partners to their team. That means they can offer a one-stop shop and retain the client’s loyalty.”

Temple Bright was launched by three partners in Bristol in 2010, initially advising entrepreneurs and SMEs in the South West. In 2013 it opened a London office just north of the City in Shoreditch with an initial focus on technology work. The firm now has 65 partners handling a full range of commercial practice areas and a client list extending to listed companies, public sector bodies, schools and charities alongside a continuing large SME base.

This article appeared in the Bristol Business Newsletter on 22 March 2019.