Mr Bibby will step down from the top job and retire from the partnership in March as MSB is once again praised in the latest Legal 500. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool law firm boss Paul Bibby is retiring as managing partner of fast-growing MSB Solicitors with partner Emma Carey set to take over.
Mr Bibby, who joined co-founder Sean Sexton in 1989, will step down from the top job and retire from the partnership in March but will remain with the firm in an advisory role.
The news comes as the firm is once again praised in the Legal 500 – the premier guide to the best law firms and lawyers across the UK.
Ms Carey, who has been a partner since 2005, is head of MSB’s family department and her specialties include divorce, financial disputes, children’s issues including care proceedings, co-habitation disputes and domestic violence.
Having grown the team from just one to now more than 30, Ms Carey has also secured national award nominations for the family team and was instrumental in the firm’s appointment to the International Child Abduction and Contact Panel for the UK – one of only 40 firms in the country.
She is given a ringing endorsement in the Legal 500 for her work in MSB’s “extremely strong” family department. The guide adds that Ms Carey is an “excellent leader; she has superb knowledge of the law and is also very sensitive and insightful, which is of huge importance for her vulnerable clients”.
Her family law colleagues, Emma Palmer, Kirsty Leather and Sarah Achilles are also singled out for praise in the guide.
Mr Bibby leaves the firm, which has three offices in the city, on a high after a record-breaking financial year with revenues smashing through the £5m barrier for the first time and soaring by 16%.
In the last few months it has also relocated to a new headquarters at 4 St Paul’s Square.
In the summer MSB was named Business of the Year at the City of Liverpool Business Awards 2017 – the latest in a string of accolades.
The Legal 500 also singles out Sean Sexton and colleague Andrew Pearson for their strong track record in crime, fraud and licensing.
Of Mr Sexton, the guide praises his “precise and thorough preparation and extensive knowledge of and experience in serious and complex financial crime”.
Both Ms Carey and Mr Sexton are included in the elite ‘Leading Lawyers’ list and MSB is named as a Top Tier Firm for crime, fraud and licensing.
It can also claim to be one of the most progressive professional firms in the UK. Around 80% of its 100-strong team are women, as are half of its 14 partners.
Mr Bibby says a major factor in the firm’s growth is that it likes to “do things differently” and its expertise in a number of areas of the law is well established.
Late last year it was named the number one firm for criminal work in Liverpool in the Legal 500 and its recently expanded plot sales team has an impressive portfolio of high-profile developments across the North West.
Mr Bibby said: “I’m immensely proud of what we have built here at MSB – I believe we are rightly recognised as one of the most dynamic law firms in the region.
“We are open, honest and transparent with our clients. They appreciate that and it is why they keep coming back to use time and time again.
“We take a similar approach with out staff and in turn they respond with a fantastic work-rate and and innovative and imaginative approach to their jobs. They are all fantastic brand ambassadors for MSB.
“Emma Carey’s professional reputation in the city could not be higher – she is both a brilliant lawyer and an astute businesswoman who I have no doubt will take MSB to even greater heights.”
Ms Carey added: “MSB is an amazing place to work – the team has a real family feel to it. I’m so proud to have earned the opportunity to take on the role of managing partner.
“We have a string of record of achievements at the firm and, with the support of everyone here, I believe I can build on the legacy created by Paul and Sean.”