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North West firm DWF is set to merge with Newcastle firm Crutes, with the latter being incorporated into DWF on 1 January 2012.
The takeover will make DWF an £88m firm. Crutes is a £5m firm with 16 partners across three offices. The firm specialises in insurance, with supporting commercial and private client teams.
The move follows DWF’s announcement in May that it intended to launch a full-service practice in Newcastle after hiring Dickinson Dees partner John Flynn as executive partner (6 May 2011).
In a statement DWF managing partner Andrew Leaitherland said: “Crutes is a natural fit, its outstanding insurance credentials combined with its sector strengths align very clearly with our own. Our combined strengths mean we will have an enhanced offering for businesses across the North East.
“We’re committed to growth and investment in the region and see it as a key area for expansion over the next few years. The North East is a dynamic marketplace with plenty of opportunities.”
In July DWF announced that it was launching a Birmingham office after hiring Shoosmiths’ head of finance (28 July 2011). DWF’s turnover rose 15 per cent in the 2010-11 financial year (30 June 2011) to £83m.
At the half-year stage for 2011-12 turnover increased 15 per cent compared with the same period in 2010-11, to £45m (10 November 2011).