Maxwell and Winward formalise merger plans

City property firm Maxwell Batley and construction boutique Winward Fearon are to merge, creating a 22-partner firm with an annual turnover of £12m.

Merger talks first took place in July. The tie-up, which will go live on 1 April 2007, will see the firm renamed as Maxwell Winward (as first revealed on www.thelawyer. com, 29 November).

Maxwell Batley senior partner Raymond Levine told The Lawyer: “We get a number of approaches from both small and large firms every year, but none met the aspirations of the current partnership. Winward’s approach was the first where the commercial drivers for merger seemed blindingly obvious. Once we found we shared similar personalities and business ethos, it was a smooth ride to this point.”

Levine will remain senior partner of the merged entity, while Maxwell’s Christopher North and Winward’s Adrian Luto will take co-managing partner roles.

Winward’s eight partners and staff will move to Maxwell’s Chancery Lane offices, although the merged firm will look for new premises over the next 12 months.

Luto said: “This is a merger driven very much by client needs. We’ve found increasingly the level of service required has grown, and this will allow us to service each firm’s respective clients best.”

Levine said: “This is perceived on both sides as very much a merger of equals, even though Maxwell Batley was a slightly larger firm. We’re putting together two strong practices and we’ll be even stronger as a merged firm.”

Maxwell Batley was founded in 1896, while Winward Fearon has existed for some 20 years, The new firm will operate as a limited-liability partnership.