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Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Award-winning commercial law firm, Swinburne Maddison LLP, celebrates its 25th anniversary and looks ahead to its next chapter of growth in the region.

Led by managing partner and head of dispute resolution and employment, Jonathan Moreland, the firm is off to a flying start with celebrations following a period of significant success, which includes performing a year ahead of target and recently completing a string of multi-million-pound deals.

The last 25 years

Established in 1998 as Swinburne Maddison, following the merger of two neighbouring law firms - Swinburne Jackson & Moreland and Wilson Maddison, with a history dating back over 100 years, the firm has grown from its Durham City roots to fast becoming the preferred firm outside of Newcastle for commercial legal services.

Jonathan has been with the firm for over 30 years and vividly remembers the merger. He says:

“We are a vastly different law firm to the one that launched as a new kid on the block 25 years ago. When we bought Venture House in 2006 and undertook our subsequent re-brand in 2016 - these were both stand-out moments in the evolution of Swinburne Maddison, largely responsible for initiating our current trajectory.

“Whilst the culture of our firm has always been focused on our talented people, our appetite for growth - of both our team and footprint - has crystallised in the last few years. As a result, our revenue is up 19% from last year and profit is up 3.96% after making a huge investment into HR, compliance, IT, marketing and business and practice development.”

Today, the team boasts 80 employees, including 37 fee earners and 12 partners and recently celebrated success at the Northern Law Awards 2023, taking home the top award of the night - Law Firm of the Year (6 + Partners).

Last year Swinburne Maddison was also recognised in the Legal 500 across eight practice areas including ‘top tier’ for corporate and commercial, commercial property and commercial litigation and its corporate team is ranked within the top ten in the Experian Market IQ M&A Review for its ‘volume of deals’.

In 2021, Swinburne Maddison underwent a massive streamlining exercise to accelerate its growth plans, proving as Jonathan says, that Swinburne Maddison is not afraid to implement big changes and push forward with its plans.

Not restricted to operating within the region, the firm often works nationally and internationally on major transactions, representing multi-million-pound turnover PLCs as well as social landlords, property developers and local authorities, with private individuals and a large portfolio of SMEs occupying the spaces in between.

With client care at the heart of the firm’s core set of values, Swinburne Maddison is proud to be seen as a trusted legal partner for longstanding clients including Esh Group, Durham Cathedral and Atom Bank - in fact, during 2020-21 Swinburne Maddison handled £75 million of CBILS and RLS transactions for Atom Bank – demonstrating its ability to act for a wide range of organisations.

And what will the future bring?

Looking ahead, Swinburne Maddison is setting its sights on more distant horizons. While its recruitment campaign will continue at pace, Swinburne Maddison has plans to further expand its footprint beyond the immediate area, bringing its highly rated legal skills to a raft of new clients.

Jonathan continues: “The future of Swinburne Maddison is very exciting. What sets our team apart from other firms is our ability to think of commercial solutions within a legal framework, whilst remaining agile in the ever-changing business landscape.

“Twenty-five years on, we are looking forward confidently to our next quarter of a century and keen to realise the future of the business while building on our people potential and creating exciting opportunities for everyone in the firm.”


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