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Issue:- Thursday, 28 October 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 9.

Southport Law Firm spreads its wings into Manchester

SOUTHPORT'S Fletchers Solicitors are now 1 of the largest law firms in the UK specialising in clinical negligence, and they are about to open a new office in the heart of Manchester, employing up to 50 people. The office, on the 15th floor in St James’ Tower on Charlotte Street, will be operational by February 2017 creating 1 of the City’s largest specialist clinical negligence teams.

Fletcher’s headquarters will remain in Southport, where 340 people are currently employed across the firm’s clinical negligence and serious personal injury teams, as well as its administrative support. The new office continues the firm’s growth, which has seen it expand from a team of 90 people in 2012, as it aims to enter the UK’s list of Top 100 Law Firms by 2018. In 2016 Fletchers has also experienced strong financial growth with revenue increasing by 37% and profit before Tax by 50%.

CEO Ed Fletcher said:- “Manchester was the logical choice for our 2nd location, with the City firmly established as the capital of UK clinical negligence practice. We will be aiming to add the brightest and best lawyers to our already successful team. Maintaining the same working practices and culture that led to Fletchers being named as 1 of The Sunday Times Best Places to Work earlier in 2016.”

Fletchers Cites investment and innovation as the reasons for its impressive growth, creating what it describes as the future model for law firms. Ed Fletcher adds:- “The growth that has led us to opening the Manchester office is the result of ongoing innovation that touches every part of our business model. From a marketing plan that has given us control over our own pipeline of new cases, to the introduction of non-legal specialists as non-executive directors to help expand our vision and skills. As a result of these innovations, we have been able to champion the cause of fast and fair settlements in clinical negligence law, helping to strike the right balance between the rights of injured patients and the public interest. Our approach is increasingly being seen by the sector as the model for future law firms that want sustainable success in a rapidly changing legal sector. As a result, we are now recognised by leaders in our field with accreditations from Legal 500, Chambers and our Investors in People Gold Award.”

Man arrested on suspicion of possession firearm in Southport as part of bigger operation

MERSEYSIDE Police have arrested 2 men and seized ammunition and large quantities of drugs and cash as part of a continued crackdown in response to firearms incidents across the force. A 3rd man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm and drug supply after being wanted since September 2016.

At 8.30pm, on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 a man was stop checked in Mace Road, Croxteth after being seen acting suspiciously. Officers searched him and his car and seized wraps of cannabis and around £10,000 in cash. The 25 year old man, from West Derby, was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply and money laundering. He was arrested and taken to a Police Station and questioned by detectives.

On Tuesday, 25 October 2016, at around 9am, a warrant was executed at an address in Huyton. During a search of the property, more than 40 rounds of ammunition and suspected crack cocaine and heroin were recovered and a 22 year old man from Huyton was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and possession of Section 1 Ammunition. He has been taken into custody for questioning by detectives.

Then at 3.20am, on Wednesday, 26 October 2016, a man who was wanted for suspected firearms offences was stopped in a car on Peel Street, in Southport. The 21 year old man, from Southport, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Section 1 firearm and possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.

Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Holland said:- "Communities across Merseyside will see continued action over the coming days and weeks, as we relentlessly pursue those who bring gun crime and fear to the streets of Merseyside. We are determined to identify and dismantle those groups involved in gun crime who put our communities at risk, as well as those peripheral figures who store drugs and weapons to support serious and organised crime. Information provided by communities who are affected by this cowardly and despicable behaviour will lead to more of the same results; more guns, ammunition and drugs removed from the streets. My message to those engaged in gun crime is clear; we know who you are, we can see where you are operating, and we will be coming to arrest you."

Detectives are appealing to anyone who may have information which could help them with their enquiries to contact the specialist Matrix gun crime team on:- 0800 230 0600, or Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111.

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