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Slater Heelis has formally merged with Cottrills this week (1 December) gifting it a Manchester city centre base.
All four Cottrills partners have become members of Slater Heelis, with Cottrills managing partner Anne Irwin joining the equity and becoming managing partner of Slater Heelis in Manchester.
The firm’s former managing partner, Mike Fox, has become senior partner, while litigation partner Chris Bishop took on the role of managing partner for the firms Sale and Timperley bases.
Irwin said the opportunity to add Slater Heelis’ corporate team, which is headed by Geoff Blower and including the first female president of the Manchester Law Society Katharine Mellor, “made this deal one which I did not think we should miss”.
She added: “I was already referring work to the corporate team at Slater Heelis. Over the summer we decided to formalise the relationship when the firm wanted to come back to Manchester.”
The two firms share expertise in property, commercial litigation, personal injury (PI) and private client, the merger adds company commercial from Slater Heelis.
Over the coming months legacy Cottrills PI staff will relocate to Sale and some of the Slater Heelis’ family team will move into Manchester.
Slater Heelis lost its Manchester base as part of a three-way demerger in 1998 (15 September 1998), leaving the firm’s three-partner Sale office to set up on its own as Slater Heelis Sale.
After several years away from Slater Heelis, Fox returned to the firm when it merged with Collier Littler to become Slater Heelis Collier Littler, adding six partners (18 October 1999).
Fox said: “To be associated with Cottrills and see the name Slater Heelis reappear in the city centre makes me extremely proud.”