Penningtons Solicitors LLP and Dawsons Solicitors have finalised the terms of a merger of their practices which has taken effect from 1 May 2011. The agreement sees Dawsons' employment, litigation, private client and commercial and residential property teams join Penningtons. The combined business will operate under the Penningtons name.
Commenting on the merger, Penningtons' chief executive David Raine said: "This move enables us to increase the size of several of our core practice areas in the London market place by joining with a firm which has a similar culture and service ethic to our own. The ongoing development of our London presence is a key part of our overall strategic plan. The merger will further strengthen the growth which this year has led to an increase in firmwide turnover of nearly 10% to £24 million.
"We have used the dramatic downturn in the legal services market over the past two and a half years as an opportunity to enhance Penningtons' position across all the key areas of our business so that we are well placed to benefit from the upturn when it comes. We have made significant lateral hires across the board during this time - in particular appointing new partners to our commercial property, banking, corporate, employment, immigration, private client and clinical negligence teams. It has always been our intention to supplement our growth through lateral hires with a more ambitious merger strategy and we will continue to look for opportunties to increase the strength of our client offering."
Martin Codd, managing partner of Dawsons Solicitors, said: "We are very pleased to be joining Penningtons. The alliance creates an excellent opportunity to offer clients of both firms an expanded capability across all our complementary teams. It will allow our lawyers to maintain the high professional standards and commitment to client service which have been a feature of our reputation for so long in a robust combined practice with a strong team ethos. The move will also bring substantial operational benefits in terms of property and overhead costs that will again allow us to enhance our overall service."
In total, more than 40 Dawsons staff have joined Penningtons, including seven partners. The merger will increase the number of partners at the firm to 62 and bring overall headcount to 340. It follows Penningtons' recent acquisition of the partners from Wedlake Saint, a small City based practice with a 100 year track record. Wedlake Saint's partners and staff joined Penningtons on 6 April 2011. Contact: David Raine, Martin Codd