Finers engulfs West End neighbour Bennett Taylor

Finers is to swallow up fellow West End practice Bennett Taylor Tyrell, bringing to an end a firm that traces its origins back to the 1830s.

The firms will merge at the beginning of March, when seven of the 10 partners at Bennett Taylor will move across to Finers.

Bennett Taylor's two assistants and two trainees will also join Finers, but there will be redundancies among the firm's backroom staff.

Richard Gerstein, Finers' newly-appointed senior partner, said that the merger with Bennett Taylor would strengthen Finers' expertise in private client work.

Robert Craig, Bennett Taylor's senior partner, said that his firm, a general commercial and private client outfit, had taken a strategic decision to join a larger firm in early 1997.

Negotiations began in earnest in August last year, with the partnerships signing up to the deal just before Christmas.

Six of the Bennett Taylor partners will be split among the equity, fixed-share and salaried levels of partnership at Finers, with the other partner joining as a consultant.

None of the partners at Bennett Taylor will serve on the management board of the merged firm. But Craig said that one of the reasons they were attracted to Finers was the 'extremely competent' management already in place.

Three partners at Bennett Taylor will not be moving to Finers. Richard Gold, a leading education law specialist, will be joining litigation firm Lawford & Co. Family lawyer and deputy district judge, Patricia Pearl, is moving to North London firm DHP Levy.

Pearl said that she had old ties with DHP Levy, having trained there, and expressed a desire to reduce the amount of commuting that she would have to do.

The destination of Veronica Gilmour is as yet unknown.