Shakespeares and Harvey Ingram have completed merger negotiations to create a company that will be the second largest law firm in the Midlands when it begins operating on September 1.
Discussions between Birmingham-based Shakespeares and Leicester-based Harvey Ingram were initially announced in May.
With a combined turnover of approximately £50m, the merged firm will employ 815 lawyers and staff - creating the second largest law firm spanning the East and West Midlands and Home Counties.
The firm will trade from existing offices in Leicester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Moreton-in-Marsh, Shipston-on-Stour, Solihull (trading as Wood Glaister until April 2013), Milton Keynes, Bedford and Newport Pagnell.
The merged firm will trade as Shakespeares with the exception of Leicester where it will initially trade as Harvey Ingram Shakespeares.
Shakespeares’ Paul Wilson will be the chief executive of the merged firm while Harvey Ingram senior partner Stephen Woolfe and his Shakespeares’ equivalent Mark English will be joint-senior partners.
Simon Astill, formerly managing partner of Harvey Ingram, will be the firm’s director of risk and compliance.
The merger is Shakespeares’ fifth in five years. In 2007 Shakespeares and Putsmans merged, followed in 2010 by mergers with Berryman in Nottingham and Needham & James in Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds. In 2011 the firm merged with Solihull firm Wood Glaister and social housing firm Gorrara Haden. In June 2011 the firm came together as ‘Shakespeares’.
Best known in its Leicestershire heartland Harvey Ingram expanded in the home-counties and wider Midlands in January 2011 following a merger with Borneos.
The firm counts among its client base client large businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as private clients and also offers a personal injury claim service.
Mr Wilson said: “This is a highly significant deal for both firms and it will position us for growth in a shifting legal marketplace. I am delighted that I and Harvey Ingram’s Simon Astill and Stephen Woolfe have brought this deal to a successful completion.
“This merger marks a new beginning for us all and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to guide the firm as it continues to grow and strengthen its bank of expertise.”
Mr Woolfe, who will continue to be based in Leicester, added: “It is great to be part of this legal services growth story for the Midlands and I am looking forward to playing an active role in the on-going integration of the firms in order to realise the strength of our merged firm’s services to our substantial base of business, public sector and high net worth private clients.”