Merger creates top 10 Midlands firm

Two West Midlands firms, Challinors and Lyon Clark, have merged to become one of the region's 10 largest legal firms.

Challinors Lyon Clark will be based in Edgbaston and have 20 partners – 13 of whom have come from Challinors.

It is understood that West Bromwich-based Lyon Clark approached Challinors, the larger firm, earlier in the year.

Senior partner Trevor Lee, who previously held the same position at Challinors, said the two firms complemented each other. “We were keen on increasing the size. Lyon Clark was very much a private work specialist with a large commercial practice – representing one of the top 10 building societies. Challinors traditionally has been a specialist in medical negligence, with one of the largest teams in the Midlands. It also held 12 legal franchises. But we wanted to bolster our commercial work, which is why we thought the merger would be good for us.”

Challinors Lyon Clark will be based in the office Challinors set up last year to handle commercial work. Previously, there were six lawyers there – now there are eight.

“We had started to win work,” said Lee. “Not from the really big boys, but for firms which did not want to go into Birmingham city centre.”

Challinor Lyon Clark has closed two offices previously used by the old firms in West Bromwich and taken on a 12,000sq ft building in the town. Lyon Clark's Smethwick office has closed, as Challinors had an office nearby. All staff have transferred.