The partners of Addleshaw Goddard and HBJ have voted "by an overwhelming majority" to merge their businesses, creating the UK’s 15th largest legal firm.
The merger, which will see HBJ’s business, people and partners transfer to Addleshaw Goddard by June 1st 2017, will deliver stronger client and sector offerings across the whole of Great Britain.
The enlarged Addleshaw Goddard will have offices in each of the UK's leading financial centres, a growing presence in Asia and the GCC, alongside a world-wide network. With over 230 partners, more than 1,100 lawyers and a total combined fee income of c£224m*, it will rank 15th by UK income alone.
John Joyce, managing partner, Addleshaw Goddard said: "We have for a while had an ambition to be present in Scotland and so are delighted with the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from the partners, clients and staff of both firms. Overall, it’s a great fit for our clients and our people and we are looking forward to realising the collective benefits of our enhanced geographical reach, increased practice and sector bench-strength and flexibility in our delivery approach.
"This important development is just one aspect of our strategic ambitions and we remain committed to further expansion internationally and in the UK."
Malcolm McPherson, chairman of HBJ, said: "The combination of two such capable and growing firms is extremely good news for our clients, our people and our partners. The overwhelming majority of partners at both firms clearly saw the many benefits of the merger strategy and the fact that it positions us very well for further strong growth.
"In particular, we are confident that our cross-border capabilities will quickly lead to an increased pipeline of business, as existing and future clients learn more about the significant advantages this deal will deliver for them."
The merger delivers increased bench-strength, with an additional 134 lawyers delivering enhanced sector expertise and particular depth in financial services and real estate across the enlarged firm, as well as greater flexibility in resourcing and delivery.
The combination has been driven by increasing client demand for GB-wide legal services. While the two firms have some clients in common, particularly in the financial services sector, their client portfolios are largely complementary.
As a single business, Addleshaw Goddard and HBJ believe it will better meet the needs of clients and the opportunities within the UK market whilst providing a stronger platform to further develop its business and its international scale.
The enlarged firm retains Addleshaw Goddard’s management structure. Charles Penney remains Senior Partner and John Joyce continues as Managing Partner. Malcolm McPherson from HBJ will join the Addleshaw Goddard Board. An HBJ partner will also join the Executive teams leading each of Addleshaw Goddard's four operating divisions: Corporate & Commercial, Finance & Projects, Litigation and Real Estate.
*based on each firm's 30 April 2015/16 year-end figures
Notes to editors:
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The BIG Partnership
- Offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen
- FY15/16 turnover : £21.9m, ranking it =8th among Scottish law firms
- 45 partners and 134 lawyers in total across seven core specialisms : Banking & Finance, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Corporate & Commercial, Corporate Recovery, Employment, Private Client and Real Estate
- In association with Gateley plc but has always remained an independent law firm
- Key sectors:
- Energy & Infrastructure
- Oil & Gas
- Social Housing
- Food & Drink
- Life Sciences
- Offices in London, Leeds, Manchester, Dubai, Doha, Muscat, Hong Kong and Singapore
- FY15/16 turnover £201.8m, ranking it 20th in the UK
- 188 partners and over 770 other lawyers across 4 operating divisions – Corporate & Commercial; Finance & Projects; Litigation; Real Estate
- Transaction Services Team – over 130 paralegals who both support the day to day work of the divisions but also undertake large due diligence and discovery projects
- AG Consulting and the CDC provides a range of premium services to GCs and in-house legal teams
- AG Integrate is a pool of self-employed lawyers who work directly for clients or as part of an AG team, to provide a skills and resource boost when required
- Key sectors:
- Financial Services
- Energy & Utilities
- Retail & Consumer
- Real Estate