Howard Kennedy merges with DMA

Howard Kennedy merges with DMAHoward Kennedy has completed its second merger in as many months, despite making 46 redundancies earlier in the year.

The firm has merged with London boutique DMA Legal after joining forces with personal injury boutique Douglas-Mann & Co at the start of September (The Lawyer, 1 September).

In June, Howard Kennedy’s three-partner media practice left to launch independent media boutique Aslan Charles Kousetta (The Lawyer, 16 June).

Howard Kennedy then made 46 redundancies, including 15 fee-earners.

Of the latest merger, Howard Kennedy senior partner Trevor Newey said that in September 2007 the partnership identified a need for growth in areas that were reasonably insulated from the credit crunch, such as litigation and ­energy.

“This has all come out of a meeting last year when we looked at the US, saw the downturn and decided we needed to strengthen areas which were less affected,” he said.

DMA Legal focuses on energy and oil work and counts Faroe Islands upstream oil and gas company Atlantic Petroleum among its clients.

Partners Deborah Mills, David Hill and Andrew Pike will transfer to Howard Kennedy together with eight fee-earners.

Newey said the firm would now look to bolster its restructuring and banking practices.

“We’ve achieved what we set out to do a year ago and in a year’s time we think there’ll be lots of work in restructuring and banking,” he said.