Rickerbys and Harrison Clark join the consolidation rush with planned merger

Cheltenham-headquartered firms Rickerbys and Harrison Clark are set to merge in a move that will create a £20m firm.

Cheltenham

The firms said that growth was at the top of their agenda as they aim to break into The Lawyer’s top 100 firms

Harrison Clark managing partner Rod Thomas will lead the new firm while Rickerbys managing partner Anne Compton will become head of the Cheltenham office while also leading the integration of the two firms.

Following the recent signing of heads of agreement, the merged firm, which will trade as Harrison Clark Rickerbys, will have a combined staff of 350 based across its offices in Cheltenham, Worcester, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and the Thames Valley. The firm also has serviced offices in Birmingham and London. It is anticipated that the merger will complete at the end of March.

Compton said the move would create a platform for growth across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire in which the merged firm will be the largest local player.

She added: “The plan is to continue to grow the practice and we should, in the short term, easily reach the target of becoming a top 100 law firm in the UK.

“Both firms have strong private client and commercial practices and we intend to build upon and grow all our specialist areas, making this a prestigious firm which will be able to retain and attract the best and brightest staff at all levels.”

Consolidation of the profession has showed no sign of slowing down in the past 12 months. Nottingham-headquartered Nelsons Solicitors yesterday said it would merge with Derby’s Bakewells, as the firm looks to become a dominant force in the East Midlands legal market (9 January 2013).

It is the latest in a string of regional firm mergers that has seen the coming together of Scottish firms Morton Fraser and Macdonalds (7 Decmber 2012); the combination of Glasgow-headquartered Burness and Aberdeen’s Paull & Williamsons (9 October 2012); and the upcoming merger of Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees to create a £95m firm (7 December 2012).