National law firm Setfords Solicitors has secured a £3.75m investment from BGF (Business Growth Fund) to support its expansion plans. The funding will be used for investment in digital marketing, technology enhancements and the recruitment of additional legal consultants. The firm has also converted to an alternative business structure (ABS) after being awarded a licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Founded in 2006 by Guy Setford, the company has grown into a nationwide firm with over 160 consultant lawyers, and a 60-strong infrastructure team based at its Guildford head office, providing industry-leading back office and administrative support to the consultants.
Setfords was the first business in the UK to roll-out the consultancy network model across all major areas of law including property and family law. Over the past 10 years, it has invested in a robust infrastructure that allows lawyers to work flexibly – in many cases from their homes or clients’ offices – helping to keep overheads low so that savings can be passed on to clients. Setfords has recruited 65 consultants in the past 12 months, a 38 percent increase on the previous year.
Setfords recently opened new offices in Chancery Lane in London and in the last financial year revenue rose by over 20 per cent to more than £8m.
BGF introduced Setfords to Steve Richards who has now been appointed as Non-Executive Chairman. Steve is the former CEO of Interflora and Virginware, and current Chairman of musicMagpie and No1 Traveller.
Guy Setford said: “We have experienced significant growth over the past 10 years, and established a brand and business model that its trusted by independent lawyers and clients. We will continue to grow, recruit and invest in our infrastructure – BGF’s funding allows us to pursue our plans without disrupting the current model or management team.”
CEO Chris Setford added: “After a terrific year for the firm interest from lawyers in the Setfords way of working has never been greater and this investment will allow us to grow at the rate required to meet demand. Dozens of other lawyers have expressed an interest in joining us and we’re very excited about the growth we expect to experience working with the BGF.”
Managing Director David Rogers said: “We take great pride in setting the standard for the support offered to consultant lawyers within the legal industry and this investment is going to help further develop the Setfords offering.”
Ben Kirby, an Investor at BGF who will join the board of Setfords commented: “As a relatively young law firm, Setfords has already built a nationwide footprint under the leadership of CEOs Guy and Chris Setford. Through a combination of innovative thinking, smart technology and a great brand, the company is well-placed to become an even bigger business and we are delighted to be supporting their ambitions.”
BGF recently announced that it has invested £1billion in ambitious small and mid-sized business in the UK. According to Beauhurst, BGF was the top institutional investor in the three months following the EU Referendum by number of deals completed, against a backdrop of an overall slowdown in investment activity. The firm is on track to invest more than £370 million this year, compared to £250m in 2015.
The investment in Setfords Solicitors was led by Ben Kirby and Matthew Singh.