HBJ Gatelely Wareing is poised to merge with niche shipping and transport firm Holmes Hardingham, in a bid to expand its contentious shipping and road transport offering.
The new shipping and transport practice will account for around 10 per cent of HBJ’s total turnover.
Under a memorandum of understanding inked between the two firms, six Holmes Hardingham partners and five other fee-earners will join forces with the 15-strong HBJ team from 2 June.
Holmes Hardingham chairman Adrian Hardingham will continue to manage his partners and will oversee the contentious side of the business, while HBJ partner Richard Coles will manage the non-contentious divison, which includes superyacht and shipping finance.
HBJ national chairman Bijan Sedghi told The Lawyer that the Holmes Hardingham brand would be retained for a limited period until clients are aware of the merger: “How long is a moot point, normally you don’t need to do it for more than a year,” he said.
HBJ came onto the London scene just a year ago, through a merger with shipping firm Shaw and Croft, giving it three partners and one associate in the shipping practice.
The firm also plans to hire a lawyer to its Dubai office in order to launch an aviation practice.