Cobbetts merges with Wilbrahams in Leeds

Cobbetts has announced its third merger in just eight months. The firm is set to join up with Leeds-based planning boutique Wilbraham & Co on 1 September.

The move follows Cobbetts’ mergers with Birmingham’s Lee Crowder in May and with Fox Brooks Marshall in Manchester last November.

Wilbrahams’ five partners will all enter Cobbetts’ equity, bolstering the planning and environmental team. Peter Wilbraham will lead the combined department, which will continue to operate under the Wilbrahams name.

Since its foundation 10 years ago, Wilbrahams has built up a list of clients that includes Land Securities and Severn Trent Property. It is expected that all the firm’s clients will move to Cobbetts.

Wilbraham described the merger as the next phase of his firm’s development, adding that the niche practice approached Cobbetts as a potential partner. “We decided that a merger with a like-minded firm was the best option,” Wilbraham told The Lawyer, adding that he and his partners felt “very, very comfortable” with Cobbetts.

Cobbetts managing partner Michael Shaw said: “The two are complementary. There’s a synergy.”

Cobbetts’ turnover last year rose 17 per cent to £30.4m, with average profit per partner stable at £200,000. Wilbrahams is expected to generate £1.2m in revenue for the merged partnership.