Lawrence Tucketts set for merger with Trumps

Bristol-based law firms Lawrence Tucketts and Trumps are merging to form the third largest firm in the region – rivalling Osborne Clarke and Burges Salmon.

Under the structure of the new 30-partner firm, the managing partner of Trumps, Robert Bourns, and the senior partner at Lawrence Tucketts, Tim Pyper, will retain their positions.

The merged firm, which has yet to decide on a name, will specialise in corporate deals and legal advice for banks and building societies and will begin operating on 1 May.

Bourns says: “We have known Lawrence Tucketts for an awfully long time and we have been speaking about a merger since October.

“We wanted to be sure we had complementary clients and make sure the merger made sense.”

Both Trumps' and Lawrence Tucketts' clients include Cheltenham & Gloucester, Bristol & West, Lloyds TSB and Barclays Bank.

Lawrence Tucketts is the larger of the two firms, and will make up almost two thirds of the merged firm's manpower.

Tucketts insists the move is not a takeover, however, and that the creation of a completely new firm will be reflected in the change of name.

Pyper says: “This is about making sure that we are able to provide the service that our clients want, expect and need. That requires greater investment in people and the bigger you are the better you are able to afford that investment.

“The market in Bristol needs more than two good firms. It's a key legal centre now and clients just need more choice.”

Pyper adds that the merger will also mean the firm will be recruiting lawyers for its core areas.

He says: “If we find the right people with the right specialisms, we will be making lateral hires. We are certainly looking for growth.”

But one Bristol-based legal expert cast doubt on the move claiming the new firm would struggle to compete with the larger established firms in the region.

He says: “I wish them every success with the merger but it is hard to see where the synergy is going to come from to create any threat to the leading firms in Osborne Clarke and Burges Salmon.”