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SHEFFIELD-based Irwin Mitchell is to strengthen its corporate practice by merging with local firm Kershaw Tudor.
The firms say the merger has been under consideration for some time and has no bearing on the fact that Nabarro Nathanson is due to move into the city this month.
Howard Culley, Irwin Mitchell's managing partner, says an upturn in the market has been the catalyst for joining forces with the seven-partner niche practice.
Culley remains managing partner and senior partner Micahle Napier will stay in his top post.
It is hoped the two practices will have merged before the end of the year, but no discussions have yet taken place on the name of the new firm.
Michael Jelly, senior partner at Kershaw Tudor, says: "We are going to have a cracker of a commercial unit both on the company and the property side."
"It's a question of size, depth and back-up," he adds.
The merger follows the dissolution in the summer of Pannone Napier, Irwin Mitchell's joint venture specialist multi-party action firm. Culley says the two developments are not related.
Nabarros senior partner, David Bramsen, says of the merger: "Sheffield is a good place for good lawyers."
Nabarro Nathanson has launched a campaign to herald the opening of its new Sheffield office. Posters are being placed along the main routes into the city and a press and direct marketing campaign are also in place.