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13 October 2022 | Firm News | Article by Alun Jones

Hugh James strengthens UK presence, acquiring leading Manchester firm, Potter Rees Dolan

We are extending our service across the north of the UK through the acquisition of Potter Rees Dolan – a personal injury and clinical negligence firm, recognised in the Times Top 200 UK Law Firms and by the Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide as one of the best in the North-West.

Potter Rees Dolan is a national catastrophic personal injury and clinical negligence practice, with strong Court of Protection and Welfare Benefits departments. In the past year, it has secured settlements worth more than £125 million for its clients. The firm employs more than 65 staff, including 9 Partners.

Alun Jones, Hugh Potter, Helen Dolan and Stephen Webber at the PRD offices


This latest investment is a significant move for Hugh James. Expansion into the North-West was identified in the firm’s strategy five years ago. Since then, the Welsh-headquartered firm has rolled out a series of transformation plans, expanding its London presence through new hires; opening offices in Southampton and Plymouth; and reconfiguring its award-winning Cardiff HQ following the introduction of ‘hybrid-working’. Expanding its presence across the north of England is the next step for the firm, as it seeks to extend the depth and breadth of its expertise to support growing client demand.

Potter Rees Dolan (PRD) identified Hugh James as the ideal successor-firm which would present PRD’s Manchester offices as part of a national practice. Hugh Potter and Helen Dolan were keen to secure new owners who shared their vision and values and who would continue to nurture the business, which was established 24 years ago and has become a market leader with a very strong financial base.

Helen and Hugh will continue to lead and manage the office in Manchester, working with the wider Hugh James management team, to ensure a smooth transition and seamless client service.

Commenting on the acquisition, Alun Jones, Managing Partner at Hugh James, said today:

“This is an exciting development for us. Potter Rees Dolan is a well-established and very well-run Manchester firm, employing a great team of people. Our work aligns closely with theirs and together we’ll be able to provide an even better service to clients across England and Wales.

“It’s an honour that Hugh and Helen have chosen to pass the mantle onto us. They’ve built a very successful business over the years and I look forward to working with them as we enter this new chapter.”

Speaking of the deal, Hugh Potter and Helen Dolan added:

“Hugh James has an excellent reputation. We share the same commitment to placing client care front and centre and we are confident we have also secured a really bright future for our staff.

“What stood out for us was that, while Hugh James is an ambitious business, it remains firmly rooted in community. We’ve been impressed by the approach the Partnership has taken in carefully building its London presence and we are confident that the same will be applied to develop the business in Manchester.”

For now, Potter Rees Dolan will continue to exist with its own refreshed brand, to allow for a longer-term progression into the Hugh James identity. Over time, new departments will be introduced into the Manchester office, from across the firm’s Private Client and Business Service areas of work.

Author bio

Alun Jones

Managing Partner

Alun Jones is Managing Partner of Hugh James, taking the helm in January 2011. He is also chair of the firm’s board of management.

In his role as Managing Partner, Alun is responsible for formulating and implementing the firm’s business strategy and day-to-day operations.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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