The transaction, which is driven by a desire to improve client and sector offerings, is subject to approval by both partnerships who will reach a decision over the coming weeks.
A single firm in combination would deliver to clients:
1. Wider legal coverage across the whole of GB, together with international reach: offices in the UK’s leading financial centres, a growing presence in Asia and the GCC, and international reach
2. Increased bench-strength: across each firm's key practice areas
3. Enhanced sector expertise: broadly aligned sector focus; particular strengths in financial services and real estate
4. Greater flexibility: in terms of resourcing and delivery
John Joyce, Managing Partner, Addleshaw Goddard, said:
"A combination would deliver on both firms' aspirations for improved client and sector offerings across the whole of Great Britain. We are culturally aligned and bringing both businesses together will enhance each firm's bench strength, give greater flexibility and provide a more robust platform from which to establish stronger market positions across core practice areas and in the financial services and real estate sectors in particular."
Malcolm McPherson, Senior Partner, HBJ Gateley, said:
"There is a clear and compelling rationale behind this proposal. Clients are increasingly demanding true strength in depth across a range of core specialist disciplines and our exploratory talks progressed very quickly as the complementary nature of our teams and geographical presence became apparent. A strong cultural fit is at the heart of all successful legal deals and both firms share a pragmatic, commercial approach to client service. Given the partner voting process, we're taking nothing for granted but are quietly excited about the potential for creating something rather special, given our strongly aligned sector focus and specific critical mass in financial services and real estate."
It is intended that the business, people and partners of HBJ Gateley will transfer to Addleshaw Goddard. A combination would have 11 offices, over 230 partners, more than 1,100 lawyers in total, and a combined fee income of c. £224m, based on each firm's 30 April 2015/16 year-end. It would rank 15th by UK income.
Neither firm will comment further until discussions conclude.
Notes to editors
0113 209 2420
The BIG Partnership
- A Scottish law firm with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow
- 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 (was previously Henderson Boyd Jackson)
- 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 Client Development Centre provide a range of premium services to GCs and in-house legal teams as well as providing consultancy services more widely
- Key sectors:
- Financial Services
- Energy & Utilities
- Retail & Consumer
- Real Estate