Legal News for 2014
National firm Cartwright King claims it will become one of the largest criminal defence firms in the country after announcing a merger with southern England firm The First Law Partnership with effect from January 2015. This will increase the firm’s number of offices to 14, with 230 staff and a £13m turnover. The deal follows Cartwright King’s recent absorption of the Bastian Lloyd Morris (BLM) criminal defence team in Milton Keynes.
Bristol family law and education specialist Watkins Solicitors has merged with neighbouring high street firm Brain Sinnott & Co. The newly merged firm will be known as Watkins Solicitors (incorporating Brain Sinnott & Co). It will comprise three offices – in Bedminster, Kingswood and Fishponds.
The partners at leading private client firms Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham have voted to merge, creating a 170-partner firm with turnover of about £135m. Charles Russell Speechlys, headquartered in London, will open for business on 1 November. The firm will have offices and networks across the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, the US and the Caribbean.
Bristol firms Barcan Woodward and Kirby Sheppard are to become a medium-sized practice through a merger next year. Kirby Sheppard has expertise in employment law, while Barcan Woodward specialises in medical negligence. The merger is expected to be confirmed in September this year and the new firm will open in April 2015.
Squire Patton Boggs has come together to combine the strength, influence and resources of Squire Sanders and Patton Boggs. The global firm effective from June 2014 is over 1500 lawyers across 44 offices in 21 countries.
Turnover at international firm Kennedys rose 10% to £128.5m in 2013/14 – with £98.3m attributed to UK activity. Following the merger with aviation practice Gates and Partners this boosted turnover in the UK, Singapore and Dubai.
National law firm BLM has announced it will consolidate its two London offices into a single location in the City. The firm was formed in May 2014 from a merger of Berrymans Lace Mawer and HBM Sayers.
Top-60 firm Blake Lapthorn finalised a merger with Cardiff-based Morgan Cole to create what it claims will be ‘one of the leading firms in the south’. Blake Morgan, came into existence on 1 July, with a combined turnover of £72m and 900 staff members, including 120 partners.