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The merger confirms Wragge's strategy of growth by stealth, following its strategic merger with Birmingham construction firm Neil F Jones in October last year.
The tie-up, bringing together a leading regional firm and a boutique London practice, is a match of resource and reputation. Wragge has an established international and corporate practice, employing nearly 300 lawyers. Needham, with just five partners, is one of the last specialist IP firms in the country. Its clients include Unilever, British Gas, British Telecom, Hyundai and Electrolux.
Gregor Grant, Needham & Grant's senior partner, will replace Gordon Harris as head of Wragge's IP department. Harris will be team leader.
Grant says Wragge & Co will provide the right platform to build his practice.
"We turned down numerous merger approaches because of our refusal to be absorbed by anonymous corporate cultures. Wragge's culture was a strong attraction to us, and we expect to able to compete with the sizeable City firms from now on."