New road was major factor in relocation plan

Business Pic'Baines Wilson LLP at Lancaster Business Park.'8th October 2014
Business Pic'Baines Wilson LLP at Lancaster Business Park.'8th October 2014
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The boss of an expanding specialist law firm said he moved his company to Lancaster because of the city’s increasing business potential.

John Wilson, managing partner of business law company Baines Wilson LLP has been building a team of lawyers from his new base at Lancaster Business Park, in Mannin Way, for the last two years, with further plans for expansion in the future.

John set up Baines Wilson in Carlisle in 1999, taking up new offices in Lancaster in 2012, and said his company is investing around £500,000 into the new venture.

He said: “We’ve always done some work in the Lancaster area, but we thought there was a great opportunity to invest here.

We have around 20 lawyers in total, four of whom are based in Lancaster, and a fifth will be arriving shortly.”

John said he hoped that within 18 months he would have 10 or 12 staff based in Lancaster.

“We think that there is the business here to do it. There’s a lot of great businesses as it stands, but we think that Lancaster still has a lot of potential to expand.

“It’s a great place to live and work, with great schools, in a beautiful area with the Lune Valley, Morecambe Bay and all of its natural assetts.

“There’s some great employers, but quite a lot of the larger work goes outside the area.

“We built our business in Cumbria to a large extent by stopping that movement of work outside the area, by offering as good a service, at cheaper rates with a local dimension.”

The company helps businesses with acquisitions and joint ventures, new opportunities both at home and overseas, and agency and distribution work.

It also deals with employment law and dispute resolution, litigation and intellectural property.

It works with a range of businesses including manufacturers, property developers, the service and creative industries and logistics.

John, who is married with three children and lives in Keswick, said that the Heysham M6 Link Road and the two universities gave Lancaster the edge for location, after also looking at Preston and Kendal.

Things are definitely looking up here,” he said.

“We’ve taken our time to find the right people and we’re confident that the time we’ve taken to get set up has been well worth it.

“We’re cherry picking staff from the big national firms and melding them with local talent.

“The new road is really critical, it was a major factor in choosing this location.

“There’s a lot of business for us here, but a lot of it is being done outside the local area and we hope to change that.

John studied law at Newcastle University and said he was a “sports nut” especially for rugby and football.

He enjoys fishing and is chair of the Rivers Trust in Cumbria.