A number of law firms have recently merged, or entered merger negotiations:
1. Freeth Cartwright has announced that it is taking a stake in Oxford-based law firm Henmans, with a full merger expected to take place sometime in the future. As part of the deal, Henmans will be renamed Henmans Freeth, with most of its 21 partners becoming partners in Freeth Cartwright. The deal, which could increase Freeth Cartwright’s overall turnover to close to £50m, will go live on 1 February 2013;
2. Hertfordshire law firms SA Law and Pickworths have merged to form a 15-partner firm to boost their presence in the region. The new firm will be branded SA Law and operate out of St Albans; the merger will reportedly increase the legacy firm’s turnover by 23 per cent, with a combined turnover of £6.6m;
3. Uxbridge-based IBB solicitors has acquired the business of Ruislip law firm Bunce Solicitors, which ceased trading on 31 August 2012;
4. Law firms Cramer Pelmont and Gilbert Turner Coomber merged on 1 October 2012, creating a £7m turnover firm that will trade as the Cavendish Legal Group. The Cavendish Legal Group is reportedly considering further mergers and is looking to attract investments from private equity funds; and
5. Aviation and commercial law firm Gates and Partners has entered into merger talks with Kennedys. Last year, Kennedys acquired Dublin associate firm O’Hare O’Connor Walshe to create Kennedys Ireland.
Also, software and outsourcing business Quindell Portfolio is to acquire the claimant personal injury law firm Pinto Potts for around £14m, subject to approval by the FSA and SRA. Two-office Hampshire firm Pinto Potts will join Liverpool-based Silverbeck Rymer, for which Quindell is still awaiting its alternative business structure licence, as part of Quindell Legal Services Ltd.