Southampton: Clarke Willmott appoints banking specialist as new partner

The Southampton office of law firm Clarke Willmott LLP has strengthened its team with the appointment of banking specialist Rich Eldridge as a partner. He joins the firm’s fast-growing corporate team from Penningtons where he was head of corporate banking for over four years.

Eldridge focuses on working with businesses in the healthcare sector, especially owners of care homes.

An established finance lawyer, Eldridge is ranked as a Leading Individual by the legal directory The Legal 500 and  is one of just four banking and finance solicitors in the South East included in The Legal 500’s Hall of Fame. The Legal 500 includes quotes referring to him as “very commercially minded with a friendly manner” and someone who “is a strong, commercially minded partner providing clear direction and advice”.

The appointment brings the Clarke Willmott corporate team to five partners and 13 members of staff in Southampton.

Kelvin Balmont, head of Clarke Willmott’s Southampton office and a partner in the corporate team, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rich to our expanding corporate team. Rich has a wealth of experience and is widely recognised for his expertise. We are very pleased to welcome such a strong addition to the team and firm. The introduction of Rich to the Southampton office demonstrates Clarke Willmott’s commitment to the region.”

Eldridge said: “I’m delighted to have joined Clarke Willmott’s excellent corporate team. I’m looking forward to helping grow our client base and providing strategic legal advice.”

The legal directory Chambers and Partners includes Eldridge as a ranked lawyer saying he is “a very creative thinker and someone who constantly thinks of commercial solutions”.

He has also appeared on Panorama and also been quoted in The Telegraph, The Times and The Independent.