An East Anglian bust-up is looming following the merger of Chelmsford-based Wollastons and Ipswich-based Birketts.
The 6 September deal, which completes £17.8m firm Birketts’ aim of having a presence in all four East Anglian counties, brings it back into direct competition with Birkett Long. Until 1995, when they demerged, Birketts and Essex-based Birkett Long were part of the same firm.
Birketts senior partner Nigel Farthing admitted that there was a risk of confusion between the two brands, but argued that any difficulties would be dispelled by head-to-head competition.
“By being in the same market rather than on the fringes it will rapidly become clear that we’re very different firms,” said Farthing. “Ours is a full-service regional firm with a corporate emphasis.” Wollastons was a nine-partner corporate boutique with an estimated revenue last year of £6m.