Nicholsons merger aims to broaden practice strengths

The 'East meets West' merger between City firm Nicholson Graham & Jones and Mayfair-based Brecher & Co became reality on 10 October, creating a 46-partner, top-40 firm with an expected combined turnover of £16 million this year.

The Brecher name will be lost with the new firm retaining the name of Nicholson Graham & Jones.

The merger will combine Brecher's main strengths in commercial property and property-related banking with Nicholson's broader corporate strengths to improve overall expertise, say the partners.

Brechers founder David Brecher, who stays as a full-time consultant, said: “As clients have developed and markets changed, there has been an increasing need for high levels of corporate support. Hence, we have sought a partnership with a City firm.”

Michael Johns, Nicholsons' managing partner, said: “This move enables us to increase the breadth and quality of our services and it justifies our claim to be a leading, full-service City firm.”

Nicholsons' City business is expected to provide £10.6 million of the £16 million turnover. Billings per partner will average £350,000 in the new firm, Johns said.

Shortage of space dictates the new firm using Brecher's Brook Street offices for its property, litigation and corporate departments.

The remaining departments will stay at Nicholson's two Moorgate offices until next year, when new City premises will be sought.

A top firm's senior partner said the loss of the Brecher name was “sad”. “The Brecher brothers built up a nice practice in the '70s. One reason why they didn't grow as big as other firms was that they wanted to retain control of it.”

Brechers was introduced to Nicholsons through Quarry Dougall recruitment consultants. Five Brechers equity partners have chosen not to go with the merger.

In addition, Brecher's brother Henry and daughter Valerie are pursuing other interests. His son, Andrew, will be setting up on his own.