PINSENT & Co and Simpson Curtis have merged to form a £35 million "super-practice" with a glittering portfolio of top corporate clients.
Birmingham-based Pinsents and Simpson Curtis, of Leeds, ranked 39th and 57th respectively in The Lawyer Top 100 list, joined forces this week to form Pinsent Curtis.
The new operation, with 97 partners and total staff of more than 650, claims to be the third-largest regional and 16th-biggest national law practice.
More than 50 clients are quoted companies, including Mirror Group, Kwiksave, IMI, TI Group, Yorkshire Electricity and Yorkshire Water.
After the move, senior partners will concentrate on work from large corporations which have interests in the firm's heartlands of the North and Midlands.
They also aim to expand in London after consolidating staff in offices at Dashwood House in the City. They then intend to establish a presence in the North West and develop overseas links.
Malcolm Lloyd, former managing partner of Simpson Curtis and now national managing partner, says: "Our immediate objective is to make this firm work. It is a matter of bedding the business down." Senior partner Julian Tonks (former senior partner at Pinsents) adds: "We see this as a tremendous opportunity."
They say the merger has not led to job losses and developed out of a similarity in "culture and interests". "We have known each other for a long time," says Lloyd.
They began talks in July last year, and the move was unanimously backed by the individual firms' partners last November.