Wales’ largest legal firm outside Cardiff has opened a permanent base in the capital for the first time as part of its ambitious plan for growth over the next few years.

Newport-based Harding Evans Solicitors, which has more than110 staff on its books, has opened a new office at Whitchurch in Cardiff in a move aimed at expanding its client base both across South Wales and in South West England.

The high-profile practice, which was established more than 70 years ago, has traditionally focused on the Gwent market, although it also serves clients across the UK.

Partner Wyn Williams explained that, through the new office, the firm aims to offer its whole spectrum of corporate and personal services which also includes family law, clinical negligence and wills and probate.

He said: “Over the years we have built a strong reputation across several different areas of the law and have served clients in various parts of Wales and the UK, but we recognise that, in order to grow our strong client base in the Cardiff area, we need to create a physical presence in the city, so people there feel we are readily accessible.”

Harding Evans intends to capitalise in particular on Cardiff’s growing residential property market by expanding its conveyancing business in the city.

One of the firm’s highest profile existing clients in Cardiff is Wales’ former rugby captain Sam Warburton who, along with several Wales teammates, has turned to the law firm many times to assist in contracts and property matters.

Sam dropped in to wish the firm well for the opening of its new Cardiff office.

He said: “Harding Evans has always been as professional and innovative as the big city practices, so it is great to see them coming to Cardiff and being recognised as one of Wales’ leading lawyers.”