FSP swallows up Brain & Brain

The long-established Reading firm Brain & Brain is to be taken over by Field Seymour Parkes, also of Reading.

The five Brain & Brain partners will be employed at FSP as consultants and assistants, with the expanded firm using the FSP name.

Prior to the merger, FSP had 27 fee earners, of whom eight are partners, engaged in commercial and private client work.

Under the leadership of James Walker, Brain & Brain built up a reputation of being at the cutting edge of modern legal services.

It adopted a corporate structure, employed non-legal department heads and added offices in Basingstoke, Swindon and London.

But in 1994 Walker was jailed for three years for selling illegally obtained UK passports to the Hong Kong Chinese. More than 40 approached him, paying £40,000 each.

Brain & Brain subsequently closed all its offices apart from the one in Reading and even the headquarters was rumoured to be in trouble.

“It's not a merger,” said FSP senior partner Philip Bevan-Thomas. “We are taking them over.”

Keith Whyman, former Brain & Brian senior partner, admitted that without the merger “life would have been very difficult”. He added: “We make no secret of the fact we went looking for a partner.”