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Jersey giant Mourant du Feu & Jeune is to merge with Cayman Islands rival Quin & Hampson, pushing the firm back into the top five offshore firms.
The firms signed heads of terms last week with a view to completing the deal by April. The combined entity will boast 232 staff, including 158 lawyers, across seven offices.
Mourant chief executive Stephen Ball said the firms would then spend six months integrating their teams in Cayman. Quin will begin trading formally under the Mourant name from 1 October.
Ball, who joined Mourant from Kroll last May, said: “We’re the number-one firm in Jersey, so the focus turned to Cayman for expansion. We met with several firms, but Quin & Hampson was the best cultural fit.”
Ball will retain his chief executive role at the new firm, while Quin senior partner Charles Quin QC will head the combined Cayman practice.
The merger is a dramatic split from Mourant’s usually conservative growth strategy. Until now, the firm, which reported a gross revenue of £25.2m last year, was the only ‘offshore magic circle’ firm not to have grown by merger. The market has seen a swathe of consolidation in the past year, with Appleby Spurling Hunter, Ogier and Walkers all completing mergers.