Peter Jackson, Hill Dickinson

Hill Dickinson is to merge with London boutique Middleton Potts in a move designed to boost the Liverpool-headquartered firm’s commodities expertise.

The two firms will enter a tie-up as of 1st July 2009, bringing the combined London turnover to an estimated £22m.

In an official statement Hill Dickinson managing partner Peter Jackson said: “This is a significant strategic acquisition for Hill Dickinson and in particular will enhance the international shipping and commodities skills we currently offer. A highly regarded niche player in this sector, Middleton Potts is extremely commercially focused and has a superb client base, with a strong overseas presence, which will complement Hill Dickinson’s own extensive international presence.

He added: “We are very pleased to announce this merger and believe that Hill Dickinson will now be able to offer existing and new clients, an even wider range of advice and geographical reach. Our underlying business is strong, and whilst market conditions may be challenging, what makes this deal work so well is how the two firms together can build upon their client base.”

As a result of the merger David Lucas will step down from his role as Middleton Potts senior partner and will begin a new role as head of the joint commodities team.

Lucas said: “After many approaches to us over the years we are delighted to merge with partners who share our ethos and approach to client care and quality of service. We look forward to being able to offer a vastly increased depth and range of services to our international client base.”

The merged London offices will have a headcount of 200. “Not everyone will fit into one building,” one source with knowledge of the deal commented. “How is it going to work [logistically]?”

Hill Dickinson expanded its global footprint this year with the launch of a Singapore office in March and also has a dedicated shipping office in Greece.