The merger of northern firms DWF and Ricksons went live on January 1, creating a firm with an annual turnover of more than £50m.
As first reported by The Lawyer (11 December), the combined firm, which will assume the DWF name, will employ around 800 people in four cities, namely Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Leeds.
DWF’s managing partner Andrew Leaitherland told The Lawyer: "We've been very clear in terms of our strategy and very clear that this will include an opportunity for a merger. We looked at the market and looked at firms in terms of their culture and quality of individuals. Ricksons came top out of a very short list."
The merger also follows on from Leaitherland’s announcement last year, also first revealed in The Lawyer (11 November), of its ambitious growth strategy to double the firm's turnover by 2009 and to establish a Leeds presence.