Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce in talks to create £92m firm

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  • Dickinson Dees could post significant profits and the commentators would still criticise them. I swear some people sit at their desk at 10am, waiting to seek something in the legal media to critique like they're Paxman. Either that, or they don't have a desk at all. How about it getting out, DD confirming the talks to limit the roumers, then let them get on with it and see how it goes rather than doing the number crunching in your head and concluding nothing.

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  • @12.59pm:

    Roumers?

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  • So now even mild criticism of Dickinson Dees provokes paranoid rants about trolls and conspiracy theories, as well as boasts about owning a desk. Oh dear.

    I like Dickinson Dees. They've got some great staff. However they urgently need a reality check. As the 59th biggest firm in the UK they look like a joke when they pompously brand themselves as "leading law firm, Dickinson Dees". Contrary to their delusions, they're not particularly liked in the North East and their track record towards junior staff is woeful.

    For this reason I think a Bond Pearce merger is a masterstroke. Culturally Bond Pearce is like Dickinson Dees would have been if they had been able to maintain the same quality of partners that they had in the 1980s and 1990s. So, make use of this. Put Bond Pearce partners in the important decision making positions, promote the talents middle order lawyers at DD (whose way has been blocked by under-performing partners for years) and start afresh with a new name / brand.

    It'll be tough for some, but I think these changes will be good.

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  • Le Tissier + Gazza v Messi......which would you choose if you could have 2 or 1. I would go for MLT + Gazza all day long.

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  • I agree with most comments. I think DD has been struggling to meet its own expectations and the brand it upholds (2.09 "Leading law firm"). Nevertheless merging with Bond Pearce appears, on the face of it, to be a fitting match to try an inject (and shuffle) some adrenaline into the firm. Tough times ahead over the next 6-12 months if it goes ahead, but agree with the above - these necessary changes have the potential to really boost the firm.

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  • If I was in a support department at either firm I'd be bricking it...end of. Not sure why so many people on here want to slate Dickies though...maybe they turned them down for a training contract and it still stings? All this 'unsuccessful law firm' business is hilarious. Unsuccessful by whose standards? Certainly not the UK economy's. Lawyers...they really should get out more.

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  • If I were Bond Pearce, I'd cherry pick the profitable, well run Leeds office and leave the rest of this shoddy, unpopular firm.

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  • Im proud of DD and what it has achieved. It’s a great place to work . Lets be positive & excited about this news! Those who spout all the negativity need to get a life and concentrate on their own workplace instead of trying to drag a good firm down…and if they still work at DD…leave! Then they’ll realise the grass certainly isn’t greener!!

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  • Anon 10.29,

    I left. Honestly the grass is way greener than at Dickie Dees.

    I discovered that going to work can actually be fun.

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  • I left DD. My only regret is that I didn't leave earlier.

    The firm really needs to listen. They need to tackle a small minority of partners / associates who bad-mouth any staff who have the temerity to leave.

    This is the major reason why I would be loathe to instruct Dickinson Dees in my new job. Likewise, it's why I think so many people are willing to air their dislike of the firm.

    PS. I can assure you that the grass is greener. Much greener.

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  • if the grass is so much greener why are you still so interested in DD....get over it...move on...

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  • I have worked at Dickinson Dees for 12 years. In fact this is a second career for me having worked in fund management and the financial services - a very tough working environment which focuses on results and the "bottom line". However, it is not a "bitchy" industry. There are a number of comments on this blog which are really "catty" - is it so impossible to post constructive professional comments?

    One of the things that impresses me about Dickinson Dees (amongst others) is the leadership of the firm to be found in John Marshall and Jonathan Blair. On a personal level they have genuine integrity and are extremely approachable and personable. On a commerial level they have strong business acumen, i.e. in a fast consolidating market they have a great sense of direction and focus.

    The proposed merger opens up so many future business possibilties for both firms. I and many others at Dickinson Dees feel very positive about it. My view is not untypical of the majority of people working at Dickinson Dees.

    For those who have left Dickinson Dees and have found the grass to be greener, then I am very happy for you and wish you all the luck in the world but the grass on this side of the fence is not just green it is very verdent!

    For the avoidance of any doubt I don't work in the PR/Marketing team. I am a fee earner who enjoys working in a firm which has direction and wants to genuinely engage with its employees.

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  • Glad to hear the grass is now verdant! When I left it was mottled brown.

    Can I offer a measured counter-point about staff being excited. I had lunch on the Quayside a couple of hours ago and the Dickie Dees staff talking on the table next to us were saying they were disappointed to be linked to such an anonymous firm. Perhaps that isn't representative, but that was also my first thought when I heard.

    It always amuses me how many comments any article on Dickie Dees creates. They seem to polarise opinion. They're certainly not anonymous!

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  • @Anonymous 2.35pm:-

    Presumably you mean 'verdant'?

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  • WOW! There certainly is a lot of bitterness about Dickinson Dees. I left Dickinson Dees a few years ago for a local competitor. That said I would have to say that I really enjoyed my time at Dickinson Dees. They are a genuine employee focused employer. They have a unique ability to identify employees' strengths and encourage and support individual growth. You are not simply a number!

    On the bigger picture they have a strong management team supported at all levels, thus ensuring a balanced approach to any matter. This approach is borne out by the clear symmetry between the two firms in the proposed merger. A clear strategy would appear to have been adopted which will help both firms merge seamlessly whilst allowing a streamlined approach to the legal market post merger. I am sure they will be successful and I wish them well in the future.

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  • This amazing merger will create one of the world's leading law firms. The calibre of BPD's lawyers will astound even the most cynical observer and cement a legal dynasty that will last 10,000 years. Emperors Tettmar and Blair shall unite earth's disparate communities and, after the people clamour for it to be so, time shall henceforth be spoken of in terms of pre-BPD and post-BPD. In this utopia, only the marketing teams shall be permitted to give views on legal news and all staff shall celebrate that the concept of being promotion to partner was expunged from all records / language from November 2012 onwards. Hail BPD.

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  • 4/10 for strategy and ambition. Both firms should have lined up a better merger partner last year. Neither firm is terrible nor is the merger, but they're at different ends of the country. A tie up with a Shoosmiths, Cobbetts or even Eversheds would have been better. Hopefully it'll work though.

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  • I have no reason to like Dickie Dees, but I would like to champion the work of Jonathan Blair and John Marshall.

    They took office in my final months at the firm and were a breath of fresh air. Although they have different styles, both are very impressive.

    The last few years have seen steady progress from Dickie Dees. I suspect that this management team have had to correct a lot of long-standing problems. Having put this groundwork in, it appears to me that Dickie Dees are now in a position to push forward up the rankings.

    I suspect that Bristol is in the lead to become the HQ of the new firm. However I hope that Bond Pearce recognise the contribution that these two can make in the future and retain them in important roles.

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  • A lot of negative comments on this one. Honestly, I do think it could work. Firms need bench strength in key areas, and a merger of the two may provide it.

    I know a few people at Bond Pearce in junior roles fed up with the office politics (favouritism and lack of meritocracy being frequent, albeit unoriginal, complaints). Marshall and Blair seem quite highly thought of and it will be interesting to see if they can change this.

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  • Blair and Marshall are lovely fellows. However they seem powerless to resolve the favourtism and lack of meritocracy that plagues Dickie Dees. If that's also a problem at Bond Pearce, I can't see this ending well. Sorry. I just can't.

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