One of Liverpool’s newest legal firms acquired one of the city’s most well-established criminal practices in October last year and has now decided to keep the name. Tony McDonough reports
When Liverpool law firm Astraea Legal took over one of Liverpool’s best-known criminal law practices, Linskills, in October 2020 it seemed like the old name was set to disappear.
However, it will live on in the rebranded and enlarged business which is now called Astraea Linskills. Founded by Julian Linskill in 1978., Linskills had established itself as one of the most high profile criminal practices in the North West.
His headline-grabbing cases including representing Southport killer Mitchell Quy who murdered his wife in 1998. In 2018 Mr Linskill claimed huge cuts to the Legal Aid budget was putting the criminal law sector under a “crushing burden” of extra hours and reduced fees.
Astraea Legal was founded in Liverpool in 2016 by Nama Zarroug and fellow director Matt Reynolds and were subsequently joined by directors James Roochove and Sara Perischine. It also has an office in London.
The acquisition of Linskills marked the start of a rapid expansion programme for Astraea which has seen it grow from seven to 24 members of staff in just over seven months. It now has a portfolio of local, national and international clients. The firm has seen case-loads across all departments more than double.
Nama Zarroug said: “When we acquired Linskills last year, little could we have anticipated the extent of the rapid business growth we were about to navigate. To triple our team and more than double our caseload has been quite an achievement.”
Astraea’s rapid growth has continued despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to many businesses it had to quickly adapt to a new world of lockdowns and social distancing. It invested in new technology to ensure business interruption was minimised.
Nama added: “We are delighted to be able to incorporate Linskills into our company name and proud to include a brand with such great heritage in the city. Astraea Linskills has become an amazing team and together we will continue to grow.”
The firm’s services cover all aspects of regulatory investigations, criminal, civil and commercial litigation as well as commercial property law, family, electoral, welfare benefit and motoring and licensing law.