Merger creates South East giant

Thomas Eggar Verrall Bowles and Church Adams Tatham are to merge in May in a move that will create one of the largest practices in the South East.

The new firm, Thomas Eggar Church Adams, will have 45 partners and 52 other fee earners in what the two firms insist is a genuine merger, despite Thomas Eggar's larger size.

Thomas Eggars with offices in Chichester, Horsham, London and Worthing is known for its private client practice and its financial services business THESIS, with over £300m-worth of clients' funds under management.

Church Adams Tatham, which has offices in London and Reigate, is strong in commercial litigation and commercial property and boasts as clients Railtrack, British Railways Board and the Woolwich.

The new firm will be run by a management board made of partners from both firms, but chaired by Christopher Doman, currently at Thomas Eggars.

Tom McKeown, chairman of Church Adams' management committee, who will step down from a management role in the new firm, said the combined firm's greater depth and strong presence in the South East would allow it to pitch “with more credibility” for the larger institutional clients in the area.

The firms started talks in November last year, with negotiations beginning in January.