Crunch time for Dawsons as Fladgate tie-up founders

Lincoln’s Inn firm ­Dawsons is scouring the market for merger partners following the collapse of talks with Fladgate.

Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln’s Inn

Since the talks broke down, the firm, whose lease is almost up on its current building, has introduced voluntary four-day working and wage reductions.

The firm is under pressure to find new premises, and hoped a merger would allow it to do so, because Lincoln’s Inn set Hardwicke is due to move into its building ­temporarily while its own offices are refurbished.

One source close to the firm said: “They’re trying very hard to find a merger partner. It’s a real shame because Dawsons has been in the Inn for 300 years, it’s part of their identity.”

In a statement managing partner Martin Codd said no date had been set for a move and the firm was in negotiations with its ­landlord over the matter.

The statement said: “Dawsons is exploring a number of merger opportunities as part of the firm’s growth strategy. We can confirm that we held talks with Fladgate as part of this process at the end of 2010. Talks are currently ongoing with other firms on a ­confidential basis.

“Like many other law firms at this time we’re ­facing a challenging ­economic climate and we are taking necessary steps to ensure the firm remains strong and profitable. As part of this process Dawsons has offered staff the option to move to a four-day week and take a pay reduction on a voluntary basis.”