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AFTER nearly 22 years apart, Robin Thompson & Partners and Brian Thompson & Partners reunited last week to create the largest personal injury firm in the UK.
The two firms were separated for "administrative reasons" when their founders, the Thompson brothers, retired in 1974. Robin Thompson's son, David Thompson, will chair the new partnership with Frank Foy and Geoff Shears as joint managing partners.
The new amalgamation boasts a 76 partner-strong firm covering 15 offices. Three partners, Colin Ettinger, Alison Eddy and Sara Lesley gave up their partnerships in October 1995 when the merger was first announced.
They have since set up a new London office for personal injury rivals Irwin Mitchell.
The new firm has reaffirmed its basic principle of only taking cases on behalf of the victims in personal injury cases and never working for insurance companies or corporate employers.
David Thompson said in a speech given last week at the official opening of the new firm: "Obtaining justice for working people has never been easy and has over the last 17 years, become ever more difficult. We will help trade unions to be more active and aggressive to use the law to help their clients."
Thompsons' past clients include victims of disasters, such as the capsized ferry at Zeebrugge; the Piper Alpha oil rig fire; the disaster at Hillsborough football ground and the King's Cross tube blaze.
The firm also specialises in employment rights and European law.