An acclaimed Sheffield law firm specialising in disability discrimination and work injury is expanding with support from Yorkshire Bank.
Unity Law, which has won a number of industry awards in recognition of its role in leading cases and ground-breaking disability rights campaign work, is targeting new business and recruiting staff after receiving a funding package from Yorkshire Bank.
The deal was facilitated by Steve Wicks, commercial relationship manager at the Bank’s South Yorkshire Business and Private Banking Centre in Sheffield.
Now in its fourth year of trading, Unity Law has a business value in excess of £1.5 million and employs 16 staff. The firm is currently handling around 400 cases and is in the advanced stages of negotiation to acquire a further caseload that will substantially increase the size of the practice.
The funding that Unity has received from Yorkshire Bank will enable the firm to embark on marketing initiatives that support business growth. It is also hiring new staff to manage the firm’s growing caseload, including a paralegal that will also have a business development role.
As a specialist in disability discrimination, Unity is involved in a number of high profile cases and campaigns. At present, it is acting in a test case regarding the accessibility of buses by wheelchair users. The cases against Arriva North East and First Bus Group will be jointly heard in the Court of Appeal and is the first of its kind. The outcome will set a UK precedent that will affect all public transport providers.
The firm also undertakes a number of pro-bono cases and participates in charity campaigns, including A2B For All, which aims to ensure public transport does not discriminate against disabled passengers, and Equal Justice, which is battling to restore access to civil justice for disabled people following legal aid reforms.
Unity and its managing partner, Chris Fry, have won numerous industry awards. Last year, Chris was ‘highly commended’ as Private Practice Solicitor of the Year at the national Law Society Excellence Awards and he was also winner of the Enterprise category in the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards.
Chris said: “Unity is now four years old and has exceeded its original business expectations in respect of turnover, market position, staff numbers and caseload. Thanks to Yorkshire Bank, we now have the means to achieve further growth and help more people across the country to pursue discrimination claims.”
Kevin Elliott, head of Yorkshire Bank’s South Yorkshire Business and Private Banking Centre, said: “We welcome the opportunity to provide further support to Unity Law, which in less than four years has become a nationally recognised leader in its field.
“It is extremely rewarding to know that through our funding, there will be a real and positive impact for the disabled community, as well as for the local economy through the creation of high quality jobs.”