Leading law firms in £250m merger

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Law firms Irwin Mitchell and Thomas Eggar, based in the South East, will merge to create a £250m turnover business.

Irwin Mitchell group chief executive Andrew Tucker said the deal would be a catalyst for growth for both businesses, and showed his firm’s determination to seize opportunities from consolidation in the sector, including economies of scale and a greater range of legal expertise.

Sheffield-based Irwin Mitchell’s turnover is £210m, Thomas Eggar - which has six offices in the South East - turns over £41m. The combined headcount will be around 2,800.

Contracts have been exchanged and the merger is expected to complete in December. It will see around 450 Thomas Eggar employees, including 67 partners, transfer to Irwin Mitchell after a TUPE process. Irwin Mitchell has around 1,200 staff at offices in Leeds and headquarters in Sheffield. Thomas Eggar will adopt the Irwin Mitchell brand in the first half of 2016.

Mr Tucker said: “This is about two great businesses coming together to share one great future. A merger with one of the leading business and private client law firms in the South East will transform our group.

“It combines the strengths of two highly-respected businesses to create a dynamic, client-focused firm that will give us further scale, critical mass and a competitive advantage in our target markets to become the legal brand of choice.

“This deal will significantly add to the value and diversification of our business and act as a catalyst for further growth. It will add significant additional scale to our business legal services division, which, if it were a standalone business, would now be a top 50 legal firm in its own right.

“This is the latest step in our strategic expansion plan but we see still further opportunities arising.”