business

Law firms end merger talks

Weightmans and Ward Hadaway decide they are now pursuing a tie up because future strategies are not 'sufficiently aligned'

Two law firms have announced they are ending their discussions over a possible merger.

Weightmans, which last year was crowned top professional services firm at the Birmingham Post Business Awards, and Ward Hadaway said they had decided their respective strategic priorities were not sufficiently aligned to invest in such a significant merger.

Weightmans has a city centre base in Temple Row and last year merged its Midlands teams and appointed Richard Osborn as regional office head for its offices in Birmingham and Leicester.

Managing partner John Schorah said: "We have real respect for Ward Hadaway, they have a really good business with very good people.

"We have many common interests too but after discussions it became clear that we each want different things from our respective futures.

"We sensibly agreed between us it was better to focus on those things.

"Weightmans' new structure will be in place on May 1 as part of a comprehensive strategic review, always putting the client at the heart of what we do.

"We will continue to focus on growing a balanced practice of defendant insurance work as well as litigation, transaction and advisory services to our clients, while further developing our innovative technology to meet changing client needs."

Ward Hadaway was founded in 1988 and has offices in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

Managing partner Jamie Martin said: "We have enjoyed talking to John and his team and getting to know the people at Weightmans a bit better and we wish them well for the future.

"Nevertheless, we wish to continue to pursue our strategy of developing a 'northern law firm for national business' across our three offices.

"We are most grateful for the loyalty and support of our clients and staff throughout this period and we look forward to a great future together."

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