Growth on the cards for Bristol legal services firm after its acquisition by major US group

September 16, 2022

A Bristol business supplying office, admin and secretarial support services to the UK and European legal sector is to expand after being taken over by global group.

Since its launch 20 years ago Intelligent Office has grown to employ more than 800 people working across 60-plus client sites and three shared-services centres. 

Its clients include a number of the UK’s top 200 law firms while it has also recently expanded into the European and Middle East markets.

Its acquisition by New York-based skilled business support services group Williams Lea is expected to complete on 1 October and will trigger a new phase of growth for the firm, which is based in The Quorum on Bond Street. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

Williams Lea, which serves financial, legal and professional services clients in 20 countries across four continents and has 5,500 employees worldwide, said Intelligent Office would benefit from it best-in-class corporate infrastructure, global reach and focus on leading-edge technology.

Williams Lea CEO Clare Hart said: “This acquisition perfectly aligns to Williams Lea’s business growth strategy and strengthens our offerings in the UK legal market.

“Intelligent Office’s regional expertise and presence, added to our expanding global product and operational capabilities, solidifies our commitment to serving the global business services needs of our clients,” she added.

Intelligent Office CEO Rachel McCorry, pictured, added: “Williams Lea’s values and their commitment to clients aligns perfectly with Intelligent Office’s vision.

“Over the last 20 years, Intelligent Office has built an attractive portfolio of office, administrative and secretarial support services to the legal sector, and joining the Williams Lea family combines complementary talent, expertise and culture from our two businesses which further strengthens the services we deliver to our collective clients and expands opportunities for all our employees.

“I am very much looking forward to integrating our operations and supporting clients in our EMEA region to revolutionize their support services.”

James Savage, Partner at YFM, Intelligent Office’s Private Equity investor said: “When we backed Intelligent Office in 2014, we knew that Rachel and her team were well placed to capitalize on a growing legal market.

“Since then, the business has broadened its product offering, supporting its clients through the pandemic and in the evolution of working practices and more than doubling revenue and profits.

“We’re pleased to realize this strong return for our investors and think that Williams Lea is a great home for the business.”

Williams Lea is backed by Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors.


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