Lawrence Graham seals merger with Tite & Lewis

Lawrence Graham seals merger with Tite & Lewis” />Lawrence Graham has completed its merger with Tite & Lewis (T&L), the former law firm of accountancy giant Ernst & Young (E&Y).

The five-partner team from T&L is now operating under the Lawrence Graham brand after moving into the firm’s offices at 190 The Strand over the weekend. The merger was officially agreed on Friday (29 October).

T&L partners Christopher Tite, Mark Lewis, Jon Edgell, Tim Pullan and Louise Gowman have joined the firm together with 15 other lawyers and 11 staff. The merger bolsters Lawrence Graham’s corporate, IT, outsourcing and real estate expertise and increases its team to 92 partners.

Lawrence Graham declined to comment on the T&L partners’ remuneration, which was understood to have been a key issue during the merger negotiations. When T&L was linked to E&Y, the partners were paid £650,000 a year plus bonuses, while at Lawrence Graham the top of equity is £615,000.

T&L was cut loose by E&Y last April, but secured extremely favourable terms in the separation, including the write-off of an overdraft that stood at £22m last March.

As part of the split, E&Y agreed to take back T&L’s expensive Noble Street premises as long as the firm sealed a merger within one year, so the T&L partners were spared property costs.

The team from T&L is set to become neighbours with its former affiliation partner, after Lawrence Graham exchanged a lease agreement on new premises at More London last month. The relocation is expected to take place in summer 2007.