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Law firm Napthens has opened an office in Penrith as a result of increased client demand in Cumbria.
The firm, which also has offices in Preston, Blackburn, Blackpool and Chorley, acts for a number of agricultural clients as an official panel law firm of the NFU.
Napthens’ Rural team will have a significant presence in the town, at Agriculture House, Cromwell Road, with three dedicated staff including Geoff Tomlinson, Rural partner, based there.
Geoff is joined at the Penrith office by new recruits Alex Sykes and Catherine Courtney.
Solicitor Alex has joined Napthens from a small rural practice in north Cumbria, before which he worked as a professional forest manager giving him a unique insight into the sector. Catherine joins in an administrative capacity in the office.
Andrew Holden, head of Rural at Napthens, will divide his time between Penrith and his base in Lancashire. He said: “We have been able to look after our clients well from our existing offices but as our rural service has grown we felt that a move to Cumbria with a permanent facility in Penrith would be a great boost.
“The appointment of Alex and Catherine means we have a significant Rural team as we move to cement our place as a leading law firm in this specialised sector. We see the office in Penrith as a base to service our clients throughout Cumbria.
“We are also looking forward to working in partnership with our colleagues at the NFU in Cumbria to the benefit of members’ business interests.”
As one of only 16 NFU panel firms in the country, Napthens provides a range of services covering agricultural law and other legal issues affecting farmers, their families and employees, landowners and rural businesses.
Ian Leigh, chief executive of Napthens, added: “Our Rural service is at the heart of our Penrith office.
“Napthens is committed to Cumbria and we will use this move as an opportunity to understand the needs of local businesses and create a platform to develop our commercial legal services in the area.
“Cumbria represents an exciting challenge for us as a law firm, and the latest stage of growth in the business following a successful 12 months.”
Robert Sheasby, NFU regional director, said: “As an NFU recommended legal panel firm, NFU Cumbrian members have always been keen to use Napthens as they have been selected for their expertise, quality advice in rural and agricultural issues, and are carefully monitored to ensure that service standards are maintained.
“Andrew Holden and his team are keen to forge links with our Cumbrian farmer members and use the NFU Legal Assistance Scheme to provide members with cost effective legal support.
“By being based at the Penrith office we now have a great rural centre with Napthens and Mike Sanderson the NFU Cumbria county adviser all under one roof, a one stop shop for agricultural expertise in the county.
“Now that they are a firm fixture in Penrith I can only envisage a future where more and more of our members in Cumbria use Napthens – a situation which is clearly beneficial to both parties.”