Shakespeares, Needhams merge to create £24m Birmingham giant

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  • Stratford not Stafford

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  • To be fair, I don't think the new firm would call itself a giant and obviously its competition is not going to come from the Magic Circle. However, £25M is enough to be considered a decent size for a one or two city Regional firm and sets it in a peer group of Ward Hadaway, Brabners and Gordons, to name but a few. Those are good firms providing Regional clinets with excellent service - there's no reason why Shakespeare Putsman can't emulate that.
    It would appear that the merger has been brought about by one or both firms struggling. That's no crime given the winds which have prevailed for the last three years. It would seem that there is work to do - they have recognised that, so good luck to them.

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  • I expect many of the partners are salaried partners, so the equity take will be much higher than £140k.

    I wonder what it took for Needhams to agree to be swallowed up and whether we will have another http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2008/349.html

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  • Its well known in the Midlands that N and J died a few years ago when they took on massive new offices and simply didnt have the financial weight or tough management to get through the downturn. Grossly overstaffed with partners who repeatedly refused to make redundancies when needed coupled with a huge 9 to 5 culture. Having said that they do have some good clients. Whether the ' takeover ' will work remains to be seen but as others have said good luck to them on the rocky road ahead.

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  • Whilst £24m may not set the legal world alight, the two legacy firms occupied an important niche in the Midlands market. They did not threaten the local heavyweight firms but the very fact that they remain open for business shows that they do have clients out there who appreciate the work they do.
    If by consolidating they have extended their shelf life, fair play to them. I wouldn't be surprised to see further similar "mergers" in the regions and indeed, it may be the only way that some such firms can survive. It is the firms that stagnate that will go first.

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  • Merger or takeover? A forced "merger" by their respective bank(s)?

    Very likely given that Shakespeare Putsman is a very Partner heavy, 'reverse pyramid' structured firm.

    Regarding the words of the CEO [of a law firm? Surely that salary cannot be justified in this market?!], it's the same old rhetoric/spin we've come to see through. It's worth noting that hubris precedes a fall.

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