Hextalls goes stateside in merger quest

City law firm Hextalls is gearing up its search for a US alliance or merger partner following the election of the firm’s new eight-member executive committee.

Chief executive Matthew Clark confirmed that he will be visiting the US in the late summer or early autumn to meet with US firms Hextalls is interested in linking up with.

Clark said the firm is in preliminary discussions with a number of firms and that an outcome is expected by the year’s end. “We probably want a firm with 50-60 partners in the US, but a rapidly growing firm would be attractive,” he said.

The trip follows the closure of the firm’s single-partner New York office earlier this year in favour of achieving a merger or close alliance with an insurance and commercial law-focused East Coast US firm.

At the same time, Hextalls has overhauled its management structure, appointing a new eight-member executive committee, elected earlier this month, and launching nominations for a chairman, which replaces the role of senior partner. An electronic partnership vote on the chairmanship will be completed within two to three weeks. The role will be non-executive.

Accountancy firm Horwath Clark Whitehill is advising Hextalls in relation to the potential US tie-up.