Cumberland Ellis and Wedlake Bell prepare for April merger

London firms Cumberland Ellis and Wedlake Bell are set to merge, creating a top 100 firm by revenue.

The merger has been in the works since May 2011 and is expected to take effect on 1 April, with Cumberland Ellis’s staff moving into Wedlake Bell’s offices near Gray’s Inn Gardens in Central London.

Wedlake Bell is a full-service firm, which pulled in £18.6m in turnover in 2010-11 and has around 40 partners. Cumberland Ellis focuses on commercial, private client and property law. The firms claim the merger will create a top 100 law firm by revenue.

“Our firms complement each other,” said Wedlake Bell senior partner Martin Arnold. “We have well-respected lawyers providing a full range of high quality legal advice and a shared belief in a dynamic, practical approach to how we work. It’s a very exciting moment and we’re looking forward to April.

“The proposed merger will mean an enhanced offering and more depth in our core business areas where we’re both already strong, notably corporate, commercial, commercial property, employment, residential property, private client and family.

“In addition, it will give existing Cumberland Ellis clients access to Wedlake Bell’s more extensive expertise in construction, IP, banking, corporate tax and pensions. We believe this is the best way of continuing to meet our own high standards and those of our clients.”