Law firm Mills & Reeve, which has a major office in Birmingham, has bolstered its private client practice with the agreed transfer of Addleshaw Goddard's Leeds and Manchester-based family teams.
The teams, including lead partners David Salter, Nigel Shepherd and Philip Way, will join the firm on February 1.
Mills & Reeve will open new offices in Leeds and Manchester, bringing its national network to six, including Birmingham, London, Cambridge and Norwich.
It is the second time that Mills & Reeve has grown its private client practice by acquiring teams from other law firms. In February 2005, the firm took over Birmingham-based Wragge & Co's 15-strong private client team in Birmingham.
Matthew Hansell, Birmingham-based partner and head of private client at Mills & Reeve, said: "Both are well known to the Mills & Reeve family team via collaboration on training, marketing and sharing know-how through the former Norton Rose M5 group.
"Addleshaw Goddard has built a formidable practice in terms of breadth of expertise and client base. Their arrival provides us with the opportunity to build a strong private client presence in both cities and represents a major step forward in fulfilling one of our ambitions to become the top national law firm for private client work for both individuals and business owners by 2010."
Addleshaw Goddard is a leading UK law firm with 1,400 staff, including 179 partners and more than 650 fee earners at offices in London, Manchester and Leeds.
Mark Jones, Addleshaw Goddard managing partner, said: "We have the greatest respect for our family law team and are in complete agreement with their move to Mills & Reeve. We thank them all for their contribution to the firm and wish them every success for the future."
The transfer of the Addleshaw Goddard family teams aims to ensure Mills & Reeve's private client practice maintains its current 20 per cent contribution to the firm's £57 million turnover as work continues to increase in areas such as corporate and real estate, supported by the recent recruitment of new partners Julian Smith (corporate) and Alex Jones (real estate), in Birmingham from Wragge & Co and DLA respectively.
Both private client teams advise on the full range of family work, specialising in complex financial arrangements including businesses trusts and pensions, as well as cases with an international element.
Both Mills & Reeve and the incoming teams have also been at the forefront of developments in mediation and collaborative law. The teams' client base includes executives, landowners, media and sports people, with an emphasis on medium/high net worth individuals based both in the UK and overseas.
Guy Hinchley, Mills & Reeve managing partner, said: "Mills & Reeve has a strong track record in identifying and developing new geographic markets for services in which we have a strong national reputation.
"By way of example our Birmingham office was launched on the basis of our healthcare expertise and has broadened into real estate, higher and further education, local government, corporate and private client. We want to build a leading private client practice in the North; Manchester and Leeds are significant markets and will provide an excellent platform."