Kennedys’ Simpson & Marwick merger postponed

Kennedys’ merger with Scottish firm Simpson & Marwick has been delayed because “aspects of the merger could not be finalised within the ambitious timetable”, according to a statement today.

Kennedys confirmed it was to merge with Simpson & Marwick in August, with the union planned to launch on 1 November (30 August 2013).

Kennedys’ senior partner Nick Thomas said: “Since announcing our merger, the two firms have been working increasingly closely together. There is a huge amount of goodwill between the two firms and we remain confident of being able to conclude matters shortly.”

Thomas was unable to confirm a new deadline for the merger but insisted “were are going to do this”.

Simpson & Marwick managing partner Peter Anderson said: “As this is a true merger, considerable efforts are being made on both sides to respect differing practice and business arrangements. We imposed on ourselves a tight timetable and we have not been able to resolve all the merger details by our proposed date. However, we continue to work on this and will make a further announcement as soon as possible.”

Talks have been ongoing between the firms since last year, when Kennedys first mooted its desire to find a foothold in Scotland (21 November 2012). Scottish regulations still do not allow non-lawyer partners and part of the delay is believed to have been down to Kennedys being an legal disciplinary practice (LDP) with three non-lawyer partners.

Kennedys recorded a 9 per cent increase in turnover from £109m to £117m for 2012/13 (26 June 2013) which does not include a £10m boost to turnover from Kennedys’ last merger with aviation practice Gates & Partners in June (31 May 2013).