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Clarke Willmott takes over Heatons' Birmingham base" />Clarke Willmott has taken over the Birmingham office of Heatons, leaving the latter firm with just three partners in its Manchester office.
Heatons managing partner Matt Fleetwood said the firm would not disintegrate following the loss of its Birmingham office.
"The Birmingham and Manchester offices were moving in different directions and this gives the Manchester office the opportunity to focus its energy on growing our niche brand," said Fleetwood.
Clarke Willmott has acquired three partners and eight associates. Corporate specialists Rob Parry and Paul Wakefield and commercial property partner Jonathan Morton are the partners moving from Heatons to Clarke Willmott.
Wakefield said the corporate finance team in Birmingham decided that the practice had gone as far as it could with a small firm and wanted to work within a larger organisation.
"Clarke Willmott was the right firm for the move, as it's not known for corporate finance work in Birmingham, so there was a mutual benefit," added Wakefield.
As part of the deal, all client invoices and current work for Birmingham will transfer to Clarke Willmott.
The firm will win new clients, including German supermarket chain Lidl and French venture capital firm Aloe, and will boost numbers up to 14 partners and 32 lawyers in Birmingham. Existing clients of Clark Willmott in Birmingham include David Wilson Homes and Aston Villa Football Club.
David Sedgwick, Clarke Willmott managing partner, said the acquisition was aimed at strengthening the firm's corporate and commercial offering in the Midlands.