Manchester firm Cobbetts has sent a team of partners and senior solicitors over to its merger partner Read Hind Stewart in Leeds
The team of six will be there for up to two years to oversee the firms' integration. Managing partner Michael Shaw will spend half his week in Leeds and construction partner Peter Taylor is being sent there to develop the property practice. A team of four senior solicitors from Cobbetts will work on the corporate and employment divisions in Leeds. "We're doing it to service existing clients who are already operating in the North East," said Shaw. "I don't want to go into detail about who they are because of the competition. We'll be looking for new clients as well." The firms finalised their decision to merge last month. The merger becomes official from 1 May 2002, the end of the financial year. According to Shaw, Cobbetts is expecting to hit its £17.5m turnover budget this year, with Read Hind bringing in an additional £5.25m.