Merger launches Wragges into construction top five

Birmingham law firm, Wragge & Co has merged with a niche construction firm, catapulting its construction practice into the UK's top five.

The staff of six-partner firm Neil F Jones (NFJ), also Birmingham-based, will move into Wragges' offices in November, to create an eight-partner, 30-lawyer construction team, operating under Wragges' name.

The takeover takes Wragges' partner count to 80, its staff count to 910. Senior partner, John Crabtree, says similar takeovers are possible to boost other practices at the firm.

He says: “There are lots of niche areas in which we want to become dominant.

“Any opportunity to invest in these areas, we are going to take.”

He says Wragges has been courting NFJ for 18 months.

Simon Baylis, NFJ's senior partner, becomes official head of construction, but Wragges partner, Ashley Piggott, retains administrative responsibility.

Baylis has no problem relinquishing his senior partner role: “I am entirely comfortable with it. This will lift some of the administrative duties from me to enable me to concentrate on working with clients which is what I enjoy.”

NFJ national client list includes AMEC, Carillion, ABB, Miller Construction and Birse Construction.