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LONDON niche construction law firms Freedmans and Church & Church have merged, creating a 20-lawyer specialist practice with a focus on UK and international projects work.
The new 11-partner practice is now called Freedman Church. The merger, effective from this month, also coincides with the transfer of Michael Crooke, a senior energy project lawyer from Powergen, which is a client of both law firms.
The new merged firm continues to act for Powergen on a variety of Build, Own, Operate and Transfer utilities projects in Eastern Europe.
Peter Shaw, senior partner of Freedmans, becomes the senior partner of the new firm, while Churchs' senior partner John Church becomes head of international project work.
Shaw says: "This merger is of strategic importance to the expansion of legal services for both firms' clients.
"Freedmans' developing international practice will now be greatly augmented by the introduction of the Church & Church team, whose core activity for many years has been international and who will equally benefit from Freedmans' support when dealing with international project negotiations and disputes."
Crooke's appointment enhances the firm's energy and private finance initiative project department.
Shaw says the merger followed a meeting between him and old contact John Church at last year's IBA conference.
Powergen encouraged the merger on the basis that it would benefit from the firms' joint resources, says Shaw.
Churchs' partner Tim Reynolds is joining niche practice, Winward Fearon.