Biggart Baillie to merge with DWF and Blackadders to merger with McKay Norwell
Three Scottish law firms have announced merger plans.
Commercial law firm, Biggart Baillie, have today announced their plans to merge with Manchester head quartered business law firm DWF from July 1.
Biggart Baillie has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow and has around 40 partners.
The merger with Biggart Baillie is DWF's third announced in the past six months, with Newcastle insurance firm Crutes at the tail-end of last year and Birmingham insurance specialist Buller Jeffries in April.
This latest merger with Biggart Baillie comes after DWF called off a merger with fellow Manchester law firm Cobbetts in January.
DWF and Biggart Baillie said they have a shared practice focus in infrastructure and energy, real estate and retail.
Biggart Baillie managing partner Alasdair Peacock said: “These are exciting times in a rapidly changing legal market.
“Competition is fierce and this merger will enhance our ability to continue to compete at the top end of the market on quality and sector expertise.
“DWF’s remarkable growth story is an obvious attraction and we are delighted to be part of that.
“The cultural fit is strong and our clients operating in Scotland and England will benefit from increased strength in depth, and also geographical coverage.”
Meanwhile, Dundee headquartered Blackadders has announced plans to merge with Edinburgh-based McKay Norwell on June 18.
The new practice will trade under the Blackadders name, with a combined 17 partners and 150 support staff is estimated will generate combined turnover of £8.5 million for the year to June 2013.
TUPE and redundancy consultations are “ongoing” though neither firm would comment on how many jobs will be affected.
Robert Forman, currently a consultant to McKay Norwell, will become a partner of Blackadders when the merger completes.
Donald Hutcheson, chairman of Blackadders, said: “We are delighted to further strengthen Blackadders for the future by joining forces with McKay Norwell who are well known and respected throughout Scotland and are very much a part of the Edinburgh legal scene.
“We and they are a good fit in every respect and this merger creates many opportunities for development of our business, dispute resolution, property and private client divisions.
“There is movement in every sector of the national legal market and we intend to remain a significant force in legal life in Scotland.”
John Mitchell, senior partner with McKay Norwell, added: “This is an ideal way to expand our resources and continue to improve our service to clients.
“I am delighted that my colleagues, Rab Forman and Richard Godden, are joining me as partners in Blackadders and we are all looking forward to the merger.
“We share with Blackadders’ partners a vision of the highest quality of advice and service and the merger will provide great synergies – we expect to be busier than ever while providing continuity of service to existing clients.”