Midland law firm Cartwright King is to establish its first presence in the North West following a merger with Garstangs Burrows Bussin.

The deal, which takes effect from July 1, sees Cartwright King add offices in Manchester and Bolton.

The merger also increases Cartwright King’s London offer with an office in Chancery Lane, taking the firm’s nationwide office portfolio from 14 to 17.

Three new directors - Mike Garstang, Richard Cornthwaite and Anthony Harris - have joined the firm, along with 20 staff, meaning Cartwright King now employs more than 250 people.

The firm said the merger would strengthen its criminal law reputation, particularly in the area of high value fraud, as well as seeing it enter into new areas of practice with the addition of commercial and civil litigation teams.

It follows Cartwright King’s recent merger with the First Law Partnership, which saw it become one of the largest criminal defence firms in the country.

That deal added five new offices to Cartwright King’s portfolio, with offices in Reading, Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough and Northampton adding to Cartwright King’s presence in London, Birmingham, Newcastle Gateshead, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Milton Keynes.

Rupert Hawke, managing director of Cartwright King said: “I am delighted to announce this merger, which will not only boost Cartwright King’s presence in the capital, but give us a significant footprint in the North West – the new Northern Powerhouse.

“Garstangs Burrows Bussin is a highly respected firm, with a formidable reputation and its team’s ethos and progressive, modern approach fits exceptionally well with Cartwright King’s culture and focus.

“The enlarged firm, with its new areas of expertise and wider geographical footprint, is of benefit to all parties as well as to our clients.

“This merger represents a key development in Cartwright King’s continuing expansion plans, and we welcome enquiries from firms across the UK.”

Richard Cornthwaite, partner at Garstangs Burrows Bussin, added: “We are confident that the merger of Cartwright King and Garstangs Burrows Bussin will create a true national law firm, with an unrivalled depth of experience and skill sets.”