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High-profile Mayfair private client firm Gordon Dadds has swallowed three-partner commercial practice Camillins.
A merger has been announced - to be completed in August - that will give Gordon Dadds a total of 15 partners.
Patrick Gearon, founding partner of Camillins, says: "We've built the firm up over the last few years and are now at the point where we have big clients. We're ready to make the leap to the next stage. We knew this had to be either organically or through a merger."
Camillins was formed in 1996. The most famous of its increasingly heavyweight cases is Medcalf, which concerned the copyright of television show Big Break.
Talks between the firms first began a year ago.
Roger Peters, senior partner at Gordon Dadds, says: "The merger is a product of a longstanding strategy to encourage the practice to offer a broader service."
Eighty-year-old Gordon Dadds considered other merger possibilities before settling on Camillins. Peters compares the marriage with the firm's 1996 merger with commercial firm Jepson Goff. "We're very confident about this," he says.
Gearon adds: "We're taking Gordon Dadds' name as it's branded. We thought it was best not to dilute it."
The merger news comes hard on the heels of earlier announcements of three defections from Gordon Dadds earlier in the year. One of these is former senior partner Douglas Alexiou, who represented Spice Girl Melanie Gulzar, now Brown, in her divorce battle last summer. He is setting up a niche family firm with fellow partners Jeremy Fisher and Susan Phillips, opening on 1 August.
Peters denies that the merger is a way to rebuild the firm without recruiting from a range of sources. "These are exciting times for firms - you can't stand still. There'll be further expansion, both geographically and in terms of the services we can offer."
This latest link-up follows last week's announcement that niche media firm Crockers Oswald Hickson has merged with City firm Farrer & Co (The Lawyer, 14 May). That merger created a 52-partner firm, which retained Farrers' name and management team.