The chief executive of Birmingham law firm Shakespeare Putsman has refused to rule out job cuts after officially confirming the firm will be merging with local rivals Needham and James.
As reported in The Birmingham Post in May, the two firms have been discussing a merger for some time.
Between them the two firms employ nearly 400 people, with both having sizeable city centre operations. Shakespeare Putsman has an office on Temple Street while Stratford-based Needham & James opened a large office at the One Colmore Row tower in 2007.
There had been rumours flying about the potential merger for some time.
Needham & James was set up in Birmingham in 1956, but is also known for a strong presence in surrounding rural areas.
It has offices in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and Shipston-on-Stour and Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds.
The firm employs more than 130 people, with 66 fee earners and 25 partners across the four offices. In 2009 it turned over in the region of £7.3 million.
Shakespeare Putsman has one of the largest presences in Birmingham’s legal scene, with about 250 people working from its offices on Temple Street. This includes 38 partners and 110 fee earners.
The last available figures show a turnover of £18.3 million in 2009 at the company. The company has had a history of expanding through mergers. Its current incarnation was formed in 2007 with the merger of the Birmingham firms Shakespeares Solicitors and Putsmans LLP.