A NICHE Surrey private-client firm has been taken over following the retirement through ill health of its senior partner, Theo Pike.
Chertsey-based Paine & Brettell has been swallowed up by Guildford commercial and litigation firm Barlows.
Although the takeover will not add any partners to Barlows' 11-strong team, it will provide its Chertsey office with a significant extra amount of probate, trust and conveyancing work.
Barlows will continue to use Paines' former offices, which have housed lawyers since the 18th century. Two of its own fee-earners will be based there, alongside former Paines solicitor David Burgess and consultant David Smyley.
Michael England, partner in charge of Barlows' Chertsey office, said: "Although we were not planning to take over Paine & Brettell we have gained some unexpected new business and expanded our private client department."