Clarke Willmott has taken over the Birmingham office of Heatons leaving the firm with just three partners and nine lawyers in its Manchester office.
Heatons managing partner Matt Fleetwood said that the firm would not disintegrate following the loss of its Birmingham office.
Fleetwood said: “The Birmingham and Manchester offices were moving in different directions and this gives the Manchester office the opportunity to focus its energy on growing our niche brand.”
Clarke Willmott has acquired three partners and eight associates. Corporate specialists Rob Parry and Paul Wakefield and commercial property partner Jonathan Morton are the partners moving from Heatons to Clarke Willmott.
Wakefield said that the corporate finance team in Birmingham decided the practice had gone as far as it could with a small firm and wanted to work within a larger organization.
“Clarke Willmott was the right firm for the move as it is not known for corporate finance work in Birmingham, and so there was a mutual benefit,” he added.
As part of the deal, all client invoices and current work for Birmingham will transfer to Clarke Willmott.
The firm will win new clients including German supermarket chain Lidl and French venture capital firm Aloe and will boost numbers up to 14 partners and 32 lawyers in Birmingham. Existing clients of Clark Willmott in Birmingham include David Wilson Homes and Aston Villa.
David Sedgwick, Clarke Willmott’s managing partner, said that the acquisition was aimed at strengthening the firm’s corporate and commercial offering in the Midlands.