Andrew McHale started his successful law firm in a small office in Levenshulme 15 years ago. From humble beginnings in 2001, McHale & Co now employs 50 people in three offices in Greater Manchester.
Its head office is in Altrincham plus there are branches in Stretford and Heywood.
The firm has 23 specialist lawyers, including Polish, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Chinese speaking staff, and also represents sportspeople through its agency McHale Sports.
The firm has represented Premier League footballers and Premiership rugby players, boxers and UFC athletes.
Andrew, 46, started as a trainee with Waldron and Schofield in Heywood in 1994, a firm he would later merge with.
He says: “It was the middle of the recession and incredibly difficult to get a training contract.
“Knowing how hard it was meant I am very keen on taking on trainees and have a strong commitment to giving people opportunities.
“It’s important they are trained so they can work by themselves and a number have gone on to start their own firms, which is pleasing.”
Brief stints at two more Manchester firms followed before Andrew formed his own firm, McHale & Co, in April 2001 in Levenshulme.
He said: “I became a father in the March and three weeks later opened the office.
“I took on a trainee on the first day so there was just two us.
“I wanted to expand as the economy was picking up and took on a conveyancer followed by two more.
“But I come from Altrincham and have lived in the area all my life so opened a branch office in Broadheath in 2003.
“By 2004 a lot of my clients were in Altrincham so it made sense to move.
“Then in 2006 I bought the site on high street, spent a year building our new 5,000 sq ft offices, and opened in 2008.
“It was a very tough time, economically, but I was determined to expand.”
The firm took on Polish speaker Marta Grzelak in 2006 and opened a Russian department in 2014.
Andrew adds: “The Polish community was growing 10 years ago and a lot of people were buying houses in the area.
“A decade on and those same people are now business owners and we are dealing with their corporate work.”
McHale & Co merged with Waldron & Schofield in 2011 and, last year, with Stretford firm J Arnold Hancock & Co.
Andrew how has his eye on more mergers to expand the firm.
He adds: “I have never seen the sense of smaller firms carrying the core back office overheads so had the idea to merge with local firms.
“Customers like the heritage, comfort and reputation of their local firm but also want modern customer service, and up-to-date IT and communication.
“We have a clear strategy to expand and are in talks with two more firms at the moment and on the lookout for other opportunities
“We are always open to discussions and want to find the best outcome for both parties.”
Andrew went to St Ambrose in Altrincham and is a junior coach at Bowdon Rugby Club, where he is also on the clubhouse committee.
The father-of-five is chairman of the Irish Association in Manchester, which is based at the Chorlton Irish Club.
He says it is important to be a part of the local community and lawyer Philippa Wright is on the
Altrincham BID committee.
“We act for a lot of Altrincham businesses, and buy our services and goods locally,” he adds.
Andrew celebrated 15 years of McHale & Co with a party for 200 clients and staff in Altrincham.