Two North East firms have merged to create a major player within Newcastle's second tier.
Mincoffs from Tyneside and Jacksons from Teesside will create a 21-partner firm Mincoff Jacksons, with a combined turnover of around £10m, taking it to a size comparable to Newcastle's Muckle, Sintons or Crutes.
Mincoffs senior partner Howard Gold said: "The most important thing was that we retain our identity. Quite a lot of the larger firms in Newcastle have approached us to take us over, which we were not interested in.
"I'm sixty-four, it is a nice environment and I like working here," he said, and added: "I would have left immediately if we had been taken over by a larger firm."
Gold said that the firm will not have aggressive plans of growth and will be happy to retain existing clients to offer them a fuller service.
Mincoffs specialises in corporate and commercial work, whereas Jacksons is stronger in litigation and employment.
Eight Mincoffs partners and 13 Jacksons partners will remain as equity partners and will take equal profit shares in the new firm.
Mincoff Jacksons will be headed by Gold and Jacksons' current senior partner Kevin Fletcher.
The firm's management board will consist of Paul Hughes and John Nicholson from Mincoffs and Nigel Kidwell and Tony Wentworth from Jacksons.