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North West firm DWF and Manchester firm Cobbetts are understood to be close to finalising a merger that could go ahead as early as May, adding around £44m to DWF’s growing turnover.
According to a source some partners within Cobbetts have already said that they will not join the merged firm. It is understood that managing partner Michael Shaw is among them.
Merger talks between the two firms are understood to have reached advanced stages with 1 May being touted as a potential completion date.
In November RollonFriday revealed that DWF had registered the domain name dwfcobbetts.com. DWF managing partner Andrew Leaitherland said at the time that the merger hint was down to an “over-zealous” IT employee, but in an interview with The Lawyer added that the firm was “open to looking at the right merger opportunity” (10 November 2011).
In November 2011 DWF merged with Newcastle firm Crutes, with the latter being incorporated on 1 January. The merger pushed DWF from an £83m firm in 2010-11 to a projected £88m (25 November 2011).
Leaitherland declined to comment while Shaw at Cobbetts was unavailable for comment.