THE absence of an "uptick" in business insolvencies in Newcastle during the coronavirus pandemic has been welcomed by a leading commercial lawyer.
Julien Castaldi, a former director of boutique city firm Laycock Burke Castaldi (LBC), which has just merged with Sparke Helmore, the legal sector was "very changeable" during the coronavirus.
Mr Castaldi said certain sectors had remained busy - including employment, residential and commercial property and construction - while others (business transactions) had been slower.
He said it was a positive sign that his firm had not noted a significant upturn in insolvencies: "I think people are managing to hold on and history has shown that businesses who survive difficult times are strong businesses, and it says something about the strength of our local economy," he said.
On July 1, Hunter-founded, national law firm Sparke Helmore merged with LBC, founded in 2014. Its directors - Mr Castaldi, Seamus Burke and Andrew Knight - are now partners at Sparke Helmore.
They are joined by five LBC lawyers and four support staff, bringing the total number of Sparke's staff in Newcastle to just under 100.
Sparke Helmore's national managing partner Phillip Salem said the trio had "a formidable reputation" in the Newcastle market.
Mr Castaldi said LBC saw "synergies" in the culture and strategies of Sparke Helmore, adding that LBC had long desired to merge with a larger practice, with "Sparkes at the forefront of our ideas".
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