Edwards Geldard and Eking Manning merge

Edwards Geldard has expanded its East Midlands presence by merging with Nottingham-based Eking Manning to create a 40-partner firm. The merger follows full-partnership votes in both firms in September and boosts its annual fee income to £15m.

Cardiff-based Edwards Geldard first entered the region 11 years ago when it opened in Derby, a move prompted by its relationship with one of its major clients, Williams Holdings.

Edwards Geldard national senior partner Rod Thurman will keep his position in the merged firm, which will retain the name Edwards Geldard. One Eking Manning partner will join the firm’s seven-strong management board.

Thurman says: “Our development in the East Midlands has exceeded what we could ever reasonably have expected or hoped for. That success is down to a mixture of the calibre of our staff in the region, the determination of partners to effectively carve out new business, and the occasional piece of good fortune.

“However, there comes a point where organic growth needs to be supplemented either by merger or acquisition. In a business like ours, achieving a successful merger is a matter of timing and ensuring a meeting of minds with both sets of personnel. We felt that the decision with Eking Manning was right on both counts. Our pooled resources will enable us to take client service to the next level.”

Cardiff-based partner Rowland Davies says that further mergers are also a possibility.

Nine-partner Eking Manning covers corporate and commercial, property, private client and civil litigation. Managing partner Tim Cullen says: “Although we’re a smaller firm than Edwards Geldard, we too had reached a similar stage in our development cycle. The merger will enable us to turbo-charge our progress. It’s a classic case of the newly merged firm being, in every way, stronger than the individual firms could hope to be.”

He adds: “There are strong synergies within the two firms, both in the expertise and the management philosophy, and that gives us great confidence for the future.”

The merger will see Edwards Geldard’s Nottingham practice move into Eking Manning’s premises in the city, providing an immediate cost saving.